Score: Earlham 68, Defiance 67
Location: Richmond, Indiana (Druley Performance Gym)
Records: Earlham 7-17, 6-11 HCAC / Defiance 3-21, 1-16 HCAC
THE SHORT STORY: A 20-point night from junior guard Kenneth Stalling Jr. helped lift Earlham College men's basketball to a one-point Senior Night victory over Defiance College, in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup.
- A 12-2 Earlham run midway through the first half gave the Quakers a 27-16 lead with 7:05 left in the frame, following a three-pointer by senior Isaiah Waire.
- Stalling drained a three-pointer right before the halftime buzzer, sending Earlham into the locker room with a 45-37 lead. The Quakers shot 48.4 percent (15-of-31) from the floor in the opening half, including a 4-of-10 mark from three-point range.
- In the second half, Earlham extended its lead to 14 points, 66-52, with 6:37 to play following back-to-back buckets by junior Blake Bonin and senior swingman Darrell Hutchison Jr.
- Defiance outscored Earlham 15-2 over the remainder of the game and had a chance for the go-ahead bucket in the waning seconds. A layup attempt by Defiance's Marell Jordan was blocked by Stalling and rebounded by Earlham, allowing the Maroon and White to hang on for the one-point victory.
- Stalling matched his season high, set just four days ago versus Rose-Hulman, with 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field. He was 2-of-4 from beyond the arc and 2-of-3 at the free-throw line. Stalling was the only Earlham player to score in double figures.
- Waire was the closest to joining Stalling in double-digits; he finished the night with eight points. Freshman Elijah Galloway grabbed a team-high six rebounds, while sophomore Jamel Barnes dished out six assists.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Earlham forced Defiance into committing 14 turnovers resulting in 20 points for the Quakers. The Maroon and White matched their season-low with seven giveaways, which yielded just two points-off-turnovers for the Yellow Jackets.
- The Earlham bench charted 31 points to Defiance's 25.
- The Quakers earned the win despite being outrebounded, 41 to 32, and shooting just 27.3 percent (9-of-33) in the second half.
- The win moved Earlham into a three-way tie for seventh place with Manchester and Mount St. Joseph. While the Quakers cannot earn a berth for the HCAC Tournament, a win in Saturday's regular-season finale at Mount St. Joseph, coupled with a Rose-Hulman victory over Manchester, would give Earlham a seventh-place finish in the standings – the Quakers' best showing in conference play since finishing sixth in the North Coast Athletic Conference in 2006-07.
Earlham closes out the 2018-19 regular season on Saturday, Feb. 16, when the Quakers face Mount St. Joseph in an HCAC road contest. Tip-off is slated for 3:00 p.m.