Nov. 22 – HIRAM, Ohio – The Hiram College men's basketball team showed grit in erasing a second-half, double-digit deficit, but eventually dropped a 78-71 decision to visiting La Roche College on Tuesday evening in Price Gymnasium.
The Terriers (1-2) trailed for a majority of the game, but made significant runs in each of the halves. Trailing by nine (27-18) in the first stanza, Hiram made their first run of the night. In a five-minute stretch, the hosts trimmed a nine-point deficit, into a one-point lead (30-29) with just 22 seconds remaining.
Junior forward Kelvin Jones was the man of the half, scoring all 12 of the Terriers' points in the 12-2 run. Jones made four shots around the bucket, and went 4-of-4 at the charity stripe to give Hiram the one-point lead. He finished the first half with his third double-double of the season (22 points/12 rebounds).
With the matchup tied at 30 as the second half began, the visiting Redhawks (2-2) put together another swing, this time running the lead out to 11 points (50-39) at the 14:28 mark. La Roche sunk three, three-point baskets in the run, including triples by Zach Gould, Evan Bonnaure and RayQuan Phifer. Phifer paced the Redhawks with a team-best 20 points.
The game of runs would continue over the next seven minutes, as the Terriers once again began to chip away at the lead. Hiram would use a 21-9 run to once again re-take the advantage at 60-59 with 7:39 to play on a steal and fast-break score by Isaiah Matthews.
Neither team could make headway over the next three minutes, as the game found itself tied three more times, including 67-67 with 4:25 remaining.
A layup by Jake Williams, which tied the game for the final time, would prove to be the last field goal that the Terriers would convert. Hiram went cold in the waning minutes as they found themselves outscored 11-4, falling by the 78-71 tally.
For the second-straight game, Jones could not be stopped. The junior post presence tallied 31 points for the second game in a row, while adding 15 rebounds. The double-double marked the third of the season for Jones, who is now averaging a gaudy 27.0 points and 12.7 rebounds per night, while shooting .838 from the floor.
Defensively, Jones totaled 12 rebounds while coming one block shy of his career high with six.
The swing in La Roche's favor came in the rebounding department, as the Terriers allowed 16 offensive caroms to their counterparts, leading to 13 second-chance points.
Hiram will be back in action on Saturday, November 26, as they travel to Beaver Falls, Pa. to take on Geneva College. Action against the Golden Tornadoes is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.