DELAWARE, OHIO -- The Hiram College men's basketball team lost to Ohio Wesleyan University, 63-61, on a Battling Bishop three-pointer with four seconds left in a North Coast Athletic Conference game in Delaware.
OWU (17-5, 10-4 NCAC) led for the majority of the first half, including having a seven-point advantage, 14-7, at the 14:01 minute mark. Hiram (11-12, 5-9 NCAC) then went on a 10-2 scoring run with seven points coming from senior guard Alan Sheppard (Wadsworth), giving the Terriers a slim 17-16 margin with 12:21 left in the period. The Bishops quickly regained the lead and wouldn't trail again in the half until the 2:12 mark when senior guard Justin Wisniewski (Macedonia/Nordonia) connected on a pair of free-throws that gave Hiram a 31-30 lead. The Terriers increased their advantage to five points in the final minute, but OWU scored the final points of the half to cut the Hiram lead to 35-33 at the break.
Hiram led by as many as six points in the second half, 52-46, following one-of-two free-throws by Wisniewski with 7:16 left in the game. The Bishops answered with an 8-0 run to move ahead on the scoreboard, 54-52, at the 5:02 mark. Momentum swung back in favor of Hiram as junior guard Aaron Stefanov (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) connected on a pair of baskets, in addition to a triple by Sheppard, resulting in a five-point margin for the Terriers, 59-54, with just under two minutes to go. OWU narrowed the gap to a point, 61-60, with 49 seconds remaining and took the lead thanks to a triple with just four seconds left. After a Hiram timeout, the Terriers gave the ball back to the Bishops on a turnover allowing OWU to run out the clock and hang on for the 63-61 win.
OWU shot 51.1 percent (23-of-45) from the field and was led in scoring by Andy Winters with 18 points while shooting six-of-12 (50.0 percent) from the floor. Reurel Rogers and Marshall Morris rounded out the high scorers for the Bishops with 13 points each.
Hiram finished the game shooting 40.4 percent (23-of-57) overall and had two players score in double figures. Stefanov led the way with a game-high 19 points on eight-of-15 shooting (53.3 percent) and Sheppard was second with 17 points. In addition, senior forward Steve Zivoder (Garrettsville/Garfield) grabbed a game-tying high seven rebounds.
Hiram will travel to Oberlin for a NCAC matchup against Oberlin College on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.