The two sides battled through an even first 20 minutes, with the widest gap between the teams coming after a three-point play from C.J. Johnson gave the Jackets a 35-27 lead with 38 ticks left in the half.
Michael Eirons then closed the gap back to five with his fourth trey of the opening period, sending the teams to the break facing a 35-30 DC advantage.
The lead swelled to nine points on two occasions in the opening minutes of the second half. The first time on back-to-back buckets from Nick Sales and Anthony Pettaway to start the half, and then again on another Pettaway layup on DC’s next score.
The Lions roared back with a 15-1 spurt over the next 4:02 of play to take a five-point, 47-42 lead, but DC gathered itself and answered with a 10-2 run of its own to grab the 57-52 lead with 2:40 showing on the clock.
MSJ’s Jeff Perry brought the Lions back even with a pair of free throws with 16 seconds remaining and a pair of errant DC shots in the waning seconds set up another overtime thriller for the Jackets.
Defiance gained early control in the overtime period as Bryan Post stole the ball from the Mount on its first possession, setting up an Anthony Jackson three. Post then assisted an Anthony Pettaway jumper to extend the lead to 65-60 with 3:27 left in overtime.
The Lions got within three points on two separate occasions but could get no closer as Pettaway drained six-straight attempts from the charity stripe to ice the game and hand the Jackets a crucial HCAC victory.
Pettaway led all scorers with 23 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to record his seventh double-double of the season. The HCAC’s leading scorer is averaging 23.5 points a night over DC’s last three contests.
Mike Floyd knocked in five treys for 15 points and tied a career best with eight assists and Johnson matched the freshman point guard with 15 points of his own.
Defiance (14-6, 8-5 HCAC) will take a break from HCAC play to host Marygrove on Wednesday at 7:30 pm, before attempting to defend its second-place position in the league standings at Rose-Hulman on Feb. 10.