By: Andrew Korba
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- The Hiram College men's basketball team extended its winning streak to eight consecutive games with a 72-68 win at Wittenberg on Saturday.
The Terriers are now 11-2 on the season and remains tied atop the NCAC at 5-1, while the Tigers fall to 8-5, 3-3.
Senior J.J. Woodson (Oakwood Village, Ohio/Bedford) led Hiram with 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting. He also pulled down four rebounds.
The Terrier bench outscored Wittenberg's 34-18 and saw three players reach double figures. Sophomore Trey Sanders (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Beachwood) tied his season-high with 11 points. Junior Joe Caspio (Willowick, Ohio/Eastlake North) added a career-high 10 points and junior Jeremiah Thomas (Cleveland, Ohio/John Hay) also finished with 10 points.
Hiram never trailed in the game and built a 24-11 lead with just under 11 minutes left in the first half.
The Terriers would build as large of a lead as 38-24 in the first half and took a 42-33 edge into halftime.
The Tigers stormed back in the second half and trimmed Hiram's lead to 47-46 with 12:35 left to play. But Sanders answered with five straight points to push the Terriers advantage back to 52-46.
Wittenberg would pull to within one point four more times in the contest, including 69-68 with 30 seconds remaining.
Sanders was fouled on the ensuing inbound and split a pair of free throws to make the score 70-68.
The Tigers went for the win and Jaelin Williams took a 3-pointer that was no good. Woodson grabbed the rebound and converted a pair of free throws with five seconds left to put the game away.
Hiram finished the game 27-of-66 (40.9 percent) from the field and went 9-of-27 (33.3 percent) in 3-pointers. Wittenberg finished 21-of-56 (37.5 percent) in shooting and knocked down 6-of-26 (23.1 percent) 3-point attempts.
The Tigers won the rebounding battle 41-34. The Terriers only turned the ball over five times, costing themselves seven points, while Wittenberg had 12 turnovers, costing them 16 points.
Hiram will continue its road swing on Wednesday, with a key NCAC matchup at Wooster. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.