HIRAM, OHIO -- The Hiram College men's basketball team defeated No. 9 nationally-ranked Ohio Wesleyan University, 78-65, in a North Coast Athletic Conference game at Price Gymnasium.
Hiram (9-7, 3-4 NCAC) opened the first half outscoring OWU (13-2, 6-1 NCAC), 13-4, to take a sizeable early lead. The Battling Bishops came back to even the score at 20-20 with 8:44 left in the period, but an ensuing 9-0 scoring run by the Terriers that ended in a jumper by senior forward Justin Lonis (Mentor/Perrysburg), put Hiram back up by nine points, 29-20, with 2:12 left before halftime. Hiram recorded its largest margin of the half shortly after, 32-22, and took an eight-point advantage into the locker rooms with a halftime score, 32-24.
OWU battled to within four points early in the second half, but Hiram took control of the game with an 8-0 run sparked by a triple by senior guard Justin Wisniewski (Macedonia/Nordonia) as the Terriers took a 17-point lead, 49-32, with 13:39 remaining in the game. Hiram went on to lead by as many as 23 points, 74-51, late in the game following a pair of free-throws by Wisniewski with 3:38 to go. The Bishops would get to within 13 points in the final minutes, but it would come a little too late as the Terriers went on to claim the 78-65 victory.
OWU shot 35.1 percent (26-of-74) from the field, but shot just 27.3 percent (six-of-22) from three-point range and 33.3 percent (seven-of-21) at the free-throw line. The Bishops were led in scoring by Marshall Morris with a game-high 17 points on eight-of-13 shooting (61.5 percent). He also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
Hiram shot 45.8 percent (27-of-59) overall, including 45.8 percent (11-of-24) from behind the arc and 81.3 percent (13-of-16) at the charity stripe. The Terriers were led by junior guard Aaron Stefanov (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) with 13 points on four-of-nine shooting (44.4 percent). Junior forward Chris Zurowski (Medina) was second with 12 points and both senior guard Alan Sheppard (Wadsworth) and freshman forward Riley Moore (Grafton/Midview) added 10 points. In addition, Sheppard tallied a game-high eight assists.
Hiram will travel to Springfield for a NCAC game against Wittenberg University on Saturday, Jan. 19. The game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.