The Defiance College Yellow Jackets Men's Basketball team suffered a setback in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Semifinals Friday night, falling to Hanover College 61-54.
The Yellow Jackets (20-6) fell behind to Hanover (19-8) in the first half and trailed at the break 28-22. Defiance played with Hanover basket for basket in the second half, but was unable to close the deficit.
Bernard Edwards cut the deficit to a basket with a pair of free throws at the 14:48 mark in the second half, but Hanover responded with a 9-0 run over the next five minutes.
Defiance made a strong push over the final minutes to cut the deficit to four with a three pointer from Travis Schomaeker and baskets from Edwards and Mason Roth. However, Hanover sank its free throw opportunities over the final minutes to keep Defiance from closing down the gap.
Three Yellow Jackets scored in double figures in the game. Edwards led the way for the Yellow Jackets with 14 points. He also had five rebounds and a block.
Roth and Ryan Hicks each had 12 points in the game. For the second straight trip to the Hulbert Arena, Hicks surpassed a milestone. Earlier this season, Hicks surpassed the 1000-point mark at Rose-Hulman. Friday night, Hicks collected six rebounds to go over the 500-rebound mark for his career.
Hicks wraps up his career with the Yellow Jackets, totaling 1115 points, 505 rebounds, 80 blocks and 78 steals. He is just the third Yellow Jacket in the history of the Men's Basketball program to eclipse 1000 points, 500 rebounds, 75 blocks and 75 steals.
Wade Wooley, Travis Schomaeker, and Noah Reed also scored for the Yellow Jackets in the game.
Wooley finished with six points and five rebounds. Friday's loss was just the second all time for the Yellow jackets when Wooley scored at least five points and five rebounds against an HCAC opponent. Wooley also had a pair of blocks and a steal in the game.
Schomaeker and Reed each scored five points in the game. Schomaeker had two steals and Reed finished with three rebounds and an assist.
In the game, the Yellow Jackets struggled on the boards, being out-rebounded 36-21. Defiance also struggled from the three-point line, shooting just 14 percent, going 2-for-14 from behind the arc. Hanover finished 5-of-10 from behind the three-point line.
The loss could likely bring an end to the season for the Yellow Jackets, who finished the regular season on a six-game winning streak to claim a share of the HCAC Regular Season Championship. Defiance will have to wait for the NCAA Selection Show to see if the receive one of the highly competitive at-large bids.