Sadia Johnson Leads Balanced Bulldogs Scoring Attack to Stave Off Visiting Defiance, 86-85

Shannon Garvey action photo by Mike Dickie.
Shannon Garvey action photo by Mike Dickie.

ADRIAN, Mich.--Freshman Sadia Johnson paced a balanced offense with 23 points and the Adrian College women's basketball team won its fourth-straight by holding off Defiance College, 86-85, in a thrilling non-conference game on Thursday evening. 

THE BASICS
Final Score:  Adrian College 86, Defiance College 85

Location:  Adrian, Mich.; Merillat Sport & Fitness Center

Records:  Adrian Bulldogs 7-3 overall, 3-1 MIAA ; Defiance Yellow Jackets 4-6 overall, 2-2 HCAC

TOP 'DAWGS
= Johnson eclipsed 20 points for the second time in her last three outings, shooting a blistering 9-for-13 from the field--including 2-for-2 from three-point range--and she made all three free throw attempts.

= Fellow starter Shannon Garvey (3 rebounds, team-high 4 assists), a freshman, also scored in double figures with 12 points.

= Junior Starnisha Harris (14 points, 4-6 FG, 5-6 FT), senior Kennedy Kunce (11 points, 5-7 FG) and junior Mariah Jackson (11 points, 4-8 FG, 3-4 3FG) gave Adrian a strong bench presence.

= Sophomore Ashley Morris and Jackson led the team with six rebounds apiece.

THE OPPOSITION
Mekai White led all scorers with 24 points, including 6-for-12 from the arc. She also had game-bests of nine rebounds and three steals.

Kelsey Tietje added 17 points, two blocked shots and a game-high-tying nine rebounds.

Ashley Williams came off the bench to net 18 points, including four treys.

= Whitney Schalk chipped in six assists and she had five rebounds.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= Defiance had the last possession but Tietje's jumper from the free throw line missed the mark with three seconds left and time ran out on the scramble for the loose rebound.

= The tightly-contested matchup featured 11 ties and 24 lead changes. Neither team held more than a nine-point advantage.

= The Bulldogs began the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run on a 3ball from Jackson and lay-ins from Garvey and Johnson to go up 75-66--the largest lead for either side--8 minutes and 19 seconds remaining.

= After a 30-second timeout by Defiance, the Yellow Jackets started to get hot by making six of their next eight shots to take an 82-81 lead on White's trey with 2:55 to go--capping a 16-6 run in a 5:23 span.

= The teams countered points the rest of the way until Garvey's clutch trey gave the Bulldogs the lead for good with 2:07 left. The teams did not score the rest of the way, combining for six missed field goals and two turnovers.

= Defiance had the best looks down the stretch but missed two lay-ins and a mid-range jumper in the final 60 seconds.

= Adrian had better depth evidenced by outscoring Defiance 41-24 in bench points.

= The Bulldogs shot a season-best 54.0 percent on 34 of 63 field goals and dished 22 assists for another team high so far in 2016-17.

= The Yellow Jackets outrebounded Adrian 42-33, including 16 offensive boards to get 18 second-chance points (to five for Adrian).

= Like late in the contest, the teams traded blows in the third quarter before Adrian by only two points, 68-66, after 30 minutes.

= Defiance built its largest lead of seven points, 39-32, with 3:31 remaining in the second quarter, but Adrian used a 30-second timeout to regroup and closed on a 9-3 run to trail only 42-41 going into halftime.

= The Bulldogs held a slim 20-18 lead after 10 minutes of play.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
The Bulldogs are 6-0 when scoring 80 points or more in a game this season.

= This was the first meeting between the schools since Nov. 21, 2009. Adrian has won five-straight in the series as Defiance leads all-time, 13-12.

= The Yellow Jackets are former members of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association from 1997 to 2000, sharing the 1999 conference championship with a 14-2 league mark (22-5 overall).

= Tietje tops the nation with nine double-doubles already, but the Bulldogs denied her tonight. She came in averaging 15.7 rebounds, but she was held to nine by Adrian. She has scored over 1,600 points in her career.

= At 7-3 overall, Adrian has its best start through 10 games since 2008-09 when it began 8-2.

= Kunce also tallied 11 points in her last appearance (Dec. 17 vs St. Mary's-Ind.) for Adrian.

= Johnson has entered the MIAA top-5 in scoring at 15.3 points per game, and she remains the Bulldogs' leading scorer this season.

UP NEXT
= Adrian hosts another Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference member--like Defiance--in the form of Anderson University out of Indiana at 2 p.m. Saturday. Live stats

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