GRANVILLE, Ohio - Looking to keep pace in the conference standings as the first half of their NCAC schedule came to a close, the Terrier men's basketball team sputtered, falling 68-62 to Denison University on Wednesday evening.
Hiram, who came into tonight's matchup as the third-highest scoring offense in the conference, was held 17 points under their season average as the Terriers shot just 36% from the field and 3-of-22 from beyond the arc.
The three-pointer proved to be the difference maker in the contest as the Big Red outscored the Terriers 30-9 from long distance to win by the six-point margin.
Despite the loss, senior Kelvin Jones tallied his third-straight double-double, posting 20 points to go with a season-best 18 rebounds. The reigning NCAC Player of the Week shot 50% from the field while securing his 10th of the season.
The Big Red were led by Maxwell Siwik, who tallied half of Denison's three-point buckets en route to a team-high 19 points.
Hiram held the lead just twice in the first half, taking a one point lead in the early stages on free throws by Jalen Kirksey.
After falling behind briefly, Jones gave the Terriers back a two-point lead (13-11) on two from the charity stripe with 13:06 to play. Denison, however, responded with a 7-0 run to retake a five-point advantage, and would seem to answer every Hiram push throughout the remainder of the evening.
The Terriers would close the gap to one point on three separate occasions in the first half, and each time the host Big Red would respond with a three. In the late stages of the frame, Brevin Dye sank a jumper to pull the game to 34-33, but a three by Siwik with two seconds on the clock would give Denison a four-point lead at the break (37-33).
The lead would grow to nine through the first six minutes of the second stanza as Hiram went cold out of the halftime break.
Hiram would remain close, however, pulling the score back to a one possession game (48-45) on a layup by Austin Blatt. An 11-2 run over the middle portion of the closing half would prove to be too much for the Terriers as a three by Fred Brou pushed the Denison lead to 11 (58-47).
Hiram would trim the lead to five on a three by Terrence Warren with 41 seconds to play, but time ran out on the comeback and the Terriers fell by the six-point margin.
The Terriers, who finish the first-half of their conference season at 6-3, will kick off the second half on Saturday as they take on Oberlin College. The matchup with the Yeomen is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start.