Nov. 19 – BLUFFTON, Ohio – Despite a career-high scoring night from junior forward Kelvin Jones, the Hiram College men's basketball team dropped a hard-fought, overtime, decision to Bluffton University on Saturday afternoon.
The Terriers (1-1) and Beavers (2-0) found themselves going back and forth throughout the entirety of the contest, as the game saw 12 ties and nine lead changes thoughout.
Hiram led by as many as 12 points, opening the game with a hot shooting performance. Leading by two points early in the first half, the Terriers used a 12-2 run to open a 19-7 lead with just over 10 minutes gone in the game. Five different players scored in the run, with fast-break buckets by both Jake Williams and Terrence Williams, as well as a three-point bucket from Paul Ortiz.
The host Beavers would not stay down for long, as Bluffton made a 16-2 run of their own to retake a two-point lead (23-21) with four minutes remaining. Guard Austin Rohde proved to be the catalyst of the swing, tallying 11 of his team's points in the run. He finished with a game-high 33 points.
From there, the team's would trade buckets, knotting the game four more times, before a bucket by Jones gave the Terriers the two point lead heading into the break (32-30).
The hosts would pull out to their biggest lead of the game in the early stages of the second half, as a three-point basket by Martin Maksvytis put the Beavers ahead by six (46-40) with 15:00 remaining.
Hiram responded with an eight-point run, including back-to-back buckets for Jones, to retaked the lead (50-48) with 10:52 to play.
Following the 11th tie of the game (56-56), the Terriers would take the advantage on a three by Ryan Greenwood, and would never again trail in regulation. The lead would dwindle to as little as one on three-separate occasions, but the Terriers responded each time.
Leading by six with just over one minute to play, however, Hiram saw their lead slip away, as a 7-1 run by the Beavers tied the game again. Once more, it was Rohde coming through for Bluffton. The guard sank a three to begin the run, and scored the game-tying basket on a layup with 21 seconds remaining.
The Terriers had the final shot as time expired in regulation, by Greenwood's attempt was off the mark, and the game went into overtime tied at 75.
A 6-2 run by Hiram, had the visitors sitting in the driver's seat early in the overtime frame. Following a free-throw by Jones, Warren sank a triple, which was followed by another basket from Jones, giving the Terriers the 81-77 lead.
Bluffton would yet again have the answer, retaking the lead on a lay-in by Rohde. The game's leading scorer would tack on a jumper with under a minute to play, giving the Beavers the 89-86 lead. From there, the Terriers couldn't find the basket, falling by a final of 90-86.
The Terrier offense, which shot over 60% in their first win of the season over Saint Vincent College, continued to stay hot. Hiram shot a blistering .583 from the field, including Jones' 12-for-13 performance. His shooting percentage of .923 was just .06 from the school's single-game record of .929, set by Tony Bolden against Allegheny College in 1977.
Jones finished the matchup with a career-high 31 points, while also adding 13 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. His mark of 31 shattered his previous career high of 23, which he posted twice as a sophomore.
Despite the hot shooting performance, the Terriers fell prey to the turnover bug, as Hiram finished the game with 20. The host Beavers held a +16 in turnover ratio, committing just four, themselves.
Three other Terriers finished the game in double figures, including Greenwood (15), Warren (14) and Williams (10).
Hiram will return to the floor on Tuesday, November 22, when they play host to La Roche College. The non-conference matchup at Price Gymnasium is scheduled for a 7 PM start.