The Hiram College men's basketball team used a dominant, second-half performance to blow past Kent State – Tuscarawas, 97-66, on Sunday afternoon.
The two sides played a tightly contested first half, with the Golden Eagles shooting 56% and outscoring the Terriers by 12 from beyond the arc.
In the second half, however, the tide turned heavily in favor of the Terriers. The hosts outscored their counterparts 51-26 in the frame to run away with the victory.
The Golden Eagles knocked down their first triple of the second half, shrinking Hiram's lead to three in the first minute (46-43). From there, however, the Terriers dominated the next seven minutes, outscoring Kent State 22-3 to open up a 22-point advantage (68-46).
During that stretch, the Terrier defense locked down, holding the Golden Eagles without a made bucket for over seven minutes. In all, Kent State – Tuscarawas knocked down just eight field goals in the second frame, shooting 20 percent from the field.
The offensive catalyst in the game-changing run was sophomore Jalen Kirksey, who tallied 13 of Hiram's 22 points. He finished the game with a team-best 24 points, setting a new career high for the third time this season.
In the final ten minutes of the game, the Terrier reserves would get a chance to run the show, continuing to expand Hiram's growing lead. Freshman Brodgie Gordon led the way for the Hiram bench, scoring 15 points.
Along with Gordon, both AJ Daniels and Alec Marcinowski tallied six points, each. Daniels' layup with 1:45 remaining in regulation put the advantage at its largest of the game (97-66), and that is where the score would remain.
Leading the bench scoring with 15, Gordon also added five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Kirksey paced the scoring effort, while Christian Crespo added 14 and Marcel Rice finished with eight.
The Terriers played unselfishly throughout the game, totaling 20 assists on 40 made baskets. Hiram produced 13 steals in the game, and forced 20 turnovers, leading to 30 points.
Additionally, the Terriers dominated the glass (+8) and outscored Kent State 60-20 in the paint, while shooting 58% for the game.
Hiram, who has now evened their record at 6-6, will get back to work on Saturday, January 5, as they head to Springfield for a bout with conference-rival Wittenberg. Tip is scheduled for 3 p.m.