DEFIANCE, OHIO -- Defiance College rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to earn a 57-50 women's basketball victory over Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon.
Kim Comden and Erica King led the Defiance offense with 15 points each. The Yellow Jackets shot 42% from the field and hit 9-15 free throws in the second half to earn the come from behind victory.
Junior Kelsey Ploof (Noblesville) and freshman Addie Johnson (Caledonia, Mich./Catholic Central) paced Rose-Hulman with 13 points each. Ploof added nine rebounds and two steals, while Johnson had five rebounds.
Junior Lauren Meadows (Indianapolis/Brebeuf) came off the bench for eight points and two three-pointers. Freshmen Carrie Morris (Altadena, Calif./Mayfield) and Cassidy Cain (Noblesville) contributed seven and five points, respectively.
The two teams battled to a 13-13 tie at the 9:36 mark of the first half after a score by Comden. Rose-Hulman relied on two three-pointers from Johnson and a layup by Ploof to take a 21-15 lead with 7:23 left in the first half.
Rose-Hulman's lead reached 10 points at 28-18 on a three-pointer by Cain. The Fightin' Engineers pushed their halftime edge to 11 points at 31-20 on a three-pointer by Meadows in the final minute.
In the second half, the Engineers gained a 12-point lead at 36-24 on a score by Johnson at the 16:32 mark. Rose-Hulman pushed back on Defiance's first rally to maintain an 11-point edge at 45-34 after two free throws by Cain at the 9:34 mark.
Defiance answered with a 14-2 run to take the lead at 48-47 on a score by Rachel Ciminillo at the 4:15 mark. Rose-Hulman battled to within one at 50-49 on a Morris field goal, but the Defiance defense held Rose-Hulman to just one point in the last three minutes to secure the win.
Defiance improved to 14-9 on the season and 11-5 in HCAC play, while Rose-Hulman stands 11-12 overall and 7-9 in conference games. The Fightin' Engineers host Earlham College in a key game in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament chase on Wednesday at Hulbert Arena.