Defiance continued to shoot the ball well in the second half, hitting at a 50-percent clip in the final 20 minutes, but Manchester made 17 field goals while missing only 12 and knocked in six more treys.
The Spartans started quickly in the second half and scored on six of their first seven possessions to build a 45-39 edge, but momentum quickly surged back in DC’s favor with a 15-2 Yellow Jacket rally to give Defiance a 54-47 lead.
Much like the first half, Manchester steadily chipped away and finally drew even at 64-64 with 5:52 showing on the clock.
Then with the score standing at 71-70 in favor of Manchester with 2:50 to play, the Spartans put the game away with a 9-3 rally to end the game and hand DC the 80-73 defeat.
Wes Gardner led all scorers and paced Manchester with 24 points on seven-of-10 shooting, including a perfect four-of-four from long range.
C.J. Johnson topped four Yellow Jacket players in double figures with 19 and added five assists. Mike Floyd and Anthony Jackson each scored 14 and Nick Sales turned in 11 points and eight rebounds. Anthony Pettaway scored seven points, marking the first time in 18 games that the sophomore center failed to crack double figures.
Defiance (12-5, 6-4 HCAC) will face another road test on Saturday when it plays at Hanover at 3:00 pm.