Dec. 17 – CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. – The Hiram College men's basketball team erased a 16-point, halftime, deficit, pulling to within three points before falling to Wabash College in North Coast Athletic Conference action on Saturday evening.
The Terriers (3-5, 2-1 NCAC) jumped out to an early 7-2 advantage in the opening two minutes as Paul Ortiz opened the scoring with five-straight points. Isaiah Matthews added a jumper in the early goings, pushing Hiram to their largest lead of the game.
The host Little Giants would respond with the game tied 11-11. Colton Garland lifted Wabash to a large advantage by the half, scoring 16 of Wabash's 32 points over the final 13 minutes of the half. In that same time, Wabash outscored the Terriers 32-16 to take a 16-point lead into the break (43-27).
Wabash shot efficiently in the opening half, knocking down 15-of-28 shots (.536) to stake themselves to the double-digit advantage.
The hosts would run the lead out to as many as 20 points, using a 4-0 run in the early stages of the second half (47-27). It was from there, however, that the Terriers would respond with a run of their own.
Hiram would lock down on the defensive end, holding Wabash to just 11 points over the final 17 points. The first run by the Terriers came in a quick 8-0 burst, fueled by four points from freshman Jared Butler. A three-point bucket by senior Jeremiah Thomas would the pull the score to 47-35 with 12:17 to play.
With 11:34 remaining and the Terriers still trailing by 12 points, a 12-3 swing would cut the Little Giants' advantage even further. Thomas started the run with a fast-break layup, which was followed by back-to-back buckets from Kelvin Jones.
The Terrier offense would go cold, however, in the final two minute of the game, making just one more basket before falling by the six-point margin, 58-52.
Hiram was lifted by their reserves in the second stanza, as the bench totaled 20 of the team's 25 points. Dean tallied six points in the half, while Thomas finished the half with five.
Overall, Paul Ortiz and Jones led the Terriers with nine points, each. Jones also added eight rebounds in the outing. Jones also led the roster with eight of the team's 44 rebounds.
The Terriers will continue NCAC play tomorrow afternoon, when they travel to DePauw for a matchup with the Tigers. The Sunday afternoon tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.