Men’s Basketball: Earlham 74, Defiance 72
Women’s Basketball: Defiance 68, Earlham 62
Wilson-Thomas Scores 29 in Men’s Basketball Come-From-Behind Win at Defiance
DEFIANCE, Ohio – Junior Elijah Wilson-Thomas scored 29 points fueling a comeback from 17 points down as the Earlham College men’s basketball team escaped with a 74-72 win over Defiance College on Wednesday evening.
Earlham took an early 10-4 lead using baskets from four different players. Defiance answered with a 23-9 run over the next nine minutes capped by a three-pointer from Michael Parker.
Trailing 27-19, the Quakers got within three points (30-27) on triples from junior Elijah Wilson-Thomas and freshman Blake Bonin and a layup from freshman Kenneth Stalling Jr. Once again, the Yellow Jackets responded with a run, scoring 19 points to Earlham’s eight over the final five minutes of the first half.
The Yellow Jackets maintained a double-digit lead early in the second half after a Randall Aikins Jr. layup made the score 57-43 with 16:19 to play in regulation. The Quakers then stiffened on defense, allowing just two points over the next six minutes. A layup from Wilson-Thomas at the 10:25 mark gave Earlham its first lead of the period.
The final ten minutes were played within an eight-point window as Defiance led by as many as three and Earlham by five on several occasions. A layup from freshman Blake Bonin gave the Quakers a 74-69 edge, but the Yellow Jackets answered with a Michael Parker triple to cut the lead to two points (74-72).
After a stop, Defiance had a chance to win it, but Wilson-Thomas blocked Parker’s potential game-winning three to give Earlham the victory, marking the first time the program has beaten Defiance since joining the HCAC prior to the 2010-11 season.
Along with Wilson-Thomas’s 29 points, Bonin was the other Quaker to finish in double figures with 14 points while also dishing out four assists. Seniors Lajay Kelly and Kamari Hunter also talled four assists.
Parker led Defiance with 24 points in defeat.
The Quakers shot 52.8 percent (28-52) from the field, marking their highest field goal percentage in a game this season. The Yellow Jackets also made 28 field goals, but on 72 shot attempts for 38.9 percent.
Both teams made seven free throws, but 11 of Earlham’s field goals were from three-point range compared to nine for Defiance.
The win puts the Quakers at 6-14 overall, marking the first time since the 2006-07 season (8-18) that Earlham has won more than five games.
The Quakers look for a seventh win at Anderson University on Saturday. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m.
Women’s Basketball Comeback Falls Short in 68-62 Loss to Defiance
RICHMOND, Indiana – Defiance College outscored the Earlham College women’s basketball team 21-7 in the third quarter in a 68-62 victory over the Quakers in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) action at Schuckman Court on Wednesday evening.
The Quakers scored the first six points of the game on two layups from freshman Shannon Pittman and an offensive put back from junior Mariah Flynn. Trailing 6-0, the Yellow Jackets battled back to tie the game 15-15 on a three-pointer from Mekai White with 1:39 to play in the first quarter. Earlham scored the final two baskets of the quarter on a jumper from senior Hannah Franklin and a post move and finish from senior Maya Luney.
Franklin scored Earlham’s first four points of the second quarter, but Defiance got within two points on a triple from Ashley Williams with 3:49 to play in the first half. The Quakers would lead by five with under a minute to play in the first half, but two free throws from Erica Smay cut Earlham’s lead to three (31-28) at halftime.
Defiance (12-8, 9-4 HCAC) led 49-38 after three quarters, and extended its lead to 52-39 on three-pointer from Liz Martin. The Quakers would not go away, however, as the hosts went on a 14-5 run capped by a baseline jump shot from freshman Amy Weisner making the score 57-53 with 3:11 to play.
On the next possession, Mekai White converted one of her 13 triple ties to put the Yellow Jackets back up by nine and seal the victory.
Franklin led the Quakers with 15 points while also tying her season high with six assists. Junior Mariah Flynn fell one rebound short of a double-double (10 points and nine rebounds) while freshman Zoe Curtis added career highs in points with nine and rebounds with six.
White and Williams both finished with 18 points for the Yellow Jackets. The HCAC’s leading scorer, Kelsey Tietje, was held to 13 points, but did grab 18 rebounds.
The Quakers continue conference play at Anderson University on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.