TIFFIN, Ohio - Jensen Hiegel broke out for her first career double-double, but Tiffin women's basketball was unable to overcome G-MAC frontrunner Cedarville University on Thursday evening, falling to the Yellow Jackets 79-67.
Missing one starter due to injury, the Tiffin regulars were forced to play more minutes, and that combined with a tightly officiated game led to four Dragons fouling out before the final buzzer. Cedarville also had two players disqualified due to five fouls, as well as another two that ended the game with four apiece.
The Dragons were able to effectively shut down a huge part of Cedarville's offense on the night, holding the conference leader in three-point percentage (nearly 50%) to just 2-10 (20%) from deep, their lowest output of the year thus far. Cedarville was able to have an advantage from the field, though, at 58% compared to 31.9% for TU.
One area Tiffin really dominated was on the glass, as the Dragons outrebounded the Yellow Jackets 44-28 in the contest. Notably, the Dragons did not allow the Yellow Jackets to collect a single offensive rebound, which led to outscoring Cedarville 19-0 in second-chance opportunities. Tiffin also bested Cedarville from the free throw line at 85.7% to 70.4%.
Hiegel's first double-double of her career came in the form of career-highs in both points (16) and rebounds (11). She also went 8-11 from the charity stripe and dished out three assists. Allie Miller started the game on fire, scoring 15 of Tiffin's 18 first-quarter points, and ended up with a game-high 22 on the night.
With Miller unable to miss (5-6 from field, 3-4 from deep), Tiffin hung with Cedarville in the early going, trailing by just one, 19-18, at the end of the first period.
The Yellow Jackets came out and scored the next six points, however, taking a seven-point lead with 7:08 remaining in the opening half. The Dragons were able to claw back and cut the deficit to four going into the break after Georgia Perrott-Hunt converted a layup on a beautiful dish from Aarion Nichols to make it 33-29 in favor of the visitors.
Cedarville quickly stretched their lead to 37-29 a minute into the third quarter, but back-to-back layups by Jasmine Watts followed by Miller's fourth triple of the game cut the deficit to just one with 7:09 to play in the period. The score remained the same for almost two minutes, before Cedarville was able to knock down a pair of free throws that started a 9-2 Yellow Jacket run. Cedarville's lead would remain around eight the end of the quarter, as the visitors took a 52-44 lead heading into the final ten minutes of action.
The Yellow Jacket lead quickly grew to double-digits to start the fourth, and would remain around that margin for the rest of the contest. Brooke Wesner was able to cut the deficit to 72-63 with a tough driving layup at the 1:27 mark, but that was as close as Tiffin would come, falling by the 79-67 final.
With the five-game conference-opening homestand complete, the Dragons will not see game action on Old Fort Bank Court for over a month, as the next home game will be after the holiday break on Jan. 17. They have a sizable break before their next road game as well, as TU will play back-to-back contests on Dec. 29-30, at NAIA school Carlow and an exhibition at Toledo, before resuming G-MAC play on Jan. 3 at Walsh.