TIFFIN, Ohio - Led by Joshua Williams, Tiffin men's basketball erased a 15-point halftime deficit and tied Cedarville University at 85 with 44 seconds remaining, but the Yellow Jackets were able to fend off the Dragons for a 91-89 win.
Williams tallied a career-high 34 points, including five threes, in the effort for the Dragons, shooting 11-18 from the field and 5-9 from deep. Nineteen of those points came in the second-half that saw Tiffin outscore Cedarville 52-39.
The teams traded blows over the first 15 minutes, with Cedarville holding a 37-32 advantage after Williams threw down a dunk on the break at the 4:56 mark. The Yellow Jackets would break out on a 15-5 run to close the half, however, taking a 52-37 lead into the break.
Tiffin began to chip away immediately to begin the second period, with Williams and Austin Adams converting back-to-back layups to cut the deficit to 11. The lead was cut to nine on a Terrell Mabins free throw with 15:21 remaining, and Austin Schaub drilled a triple two minutes later to cut it to six at 64-58. However, the Yellow Jackets were able to respond, extending their lead back up to 12, 71-59, at the 11:21 mark.
Williams then decided to take things into his own hands, igniting an 8-0 run all by himself with two threes and a layup to make it 71-67. Once again, though, Cedarville stemmed the tide and pushed their lead back up to nine, 83-74, with 3:41 left to play.
Not ready to give up, the Dragons stormed back with six unanswered from Adams to cut the deficit to three. Cedarville's Brandon Maughmer brought it back to five with a layup, but a Shane Waldon layup and Williams three tied the game at 85 with 44 seconds to play.
However, Cedarville's Conner TenHove converted a spinning hook shot on the other end to give the Yellow Jackets a two-point lead, and the visitors went 4-4 from the charity stripe the rest of the way to hold on for the 91-89 victory.
The final stat lines were nearly identical, as both teams shot over 50% from the field in the contest, while the final rebounds, turnovers, and assists numbers all had a margin of less than two. The only real discrepancy came from beyond the arc, as Cedarville shot 53.8% to TU's 38.9%.
Waldon posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Schaub dished out a career-high seven assists.
With the five-game conference homestand wrapped up, the Dragons will now fly south and play two games in Melbourne, Fla. on Tuesday (Embry-Riddle) and Wednesday (Florida Tech) of next week. Conference play resumes after winter break on Jan. 3, when TU travels to Walsh.