CANTON, Ohio – Tiffin women's basketball outscored Malone by 10 in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't quite enough to complete the comeback as the Dragons fell 72-62.
Jensen Hiegel led TU with a career-high 19 points to go along with four rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. Aarion Nichols was the other Dragon in double-figures, scoring 16 points and just missing a double-double with nine boards.
Tiffin and Malone shot the same (41%) from the field, but it was the Pioneers' 41% from deep compared to 23% for TU that made the difference. Tiffin had a significant advantage in the paint at 42-26, and shot 90% (9-10) from the free throw line.
The Dragons got off to a slow start, falling behind 17-4 after the first six minutes of the opening quarter. TU closed the rest of the quarter on an 8-2 run though, with the last four coming from Sarah Cummings as she knocked down a pair of free throws and put through a layup with 13 seconds left to cut the deficit to seven, 19-12.
The Pioneers were on fire from deep in the first half, however, making 8-16 for a 50% clip that helped the home team build their lead to 38-25 at the break.
While Malone lived beyond the three-point line in the opening half, Tiffin was more aggressive on offense, getting to the line seven times and converting all seven opportunities. The Pioneers did not attempt a free throw in the half.
Malone extended their lead to as many as 23 points in the third quarter, but Tiffin was able to claw back late as Jensen Hiegel's layup with a foul at the 5:52 mark of the fourth cut the deficit down to 15, 64-49. After a Pioneer jumper, the Dragons scored the next eight points in a row, capped by another Hiegel layup, to bring the game down to single-digits for the first time since the first quarter.
That was as close as the Dragons would get, though, as Malone made a three-pointer to go back up by 12 and held on to take the 10-point victory.
Tiffin will next hit the court on Thursday, Jan. 10 when they travel to Ursuline at 5:30 p.m.