Women’s Basketball Withstands Late Run to Beat Ohio Wesleyan

DELAWARE, OHIO — The Hiram College women's basketball team snapped a nine-game losing streak outlasting Ohio Wesleyan University, 62-55, tonight (Wednesday, Jan. 18) in a North Coast Athletic Conference game in Delaware.

With the win, the Terriers are now 5-11 overall and 2-6 in the NCAC. The Battling Bishops are 5-11 overall and 1-6 NCAC.

Hiram got off to a fast start to begin the first half, scoring the first six points of the game. OWU battled back to later tie the game at 9-9 at the 13:26 minute mark. The Bishops led by as many three points, 15-12, when Hiram went on a 15-3 scoring run to regain control and took a nine point lead, 27-18, on a layup by junior guard Chelsea Kovach (Lakewood) with 3:25 left in the half. OWU stopped the bleeding with back-to-back buckets to pull to within five points, but the Terriers tallied the final six points of the period, including a layup by junior guard Calysia Smyers (Akron/Coventry) to end the half to give Hiram a 33-22 lead at the break.

In a repeat of the first half, Hiram began the second period by scoring the first six points to extend the margin to 17 points, 39-22, with 17:40 remaining in the game. The Terriers built their lead to as many as 19 points on two occassions with the last one coming on a three-pointer by Kovach at the 11:40 mark making the score 48-29. Following the Kovach triple, OWU then made its run outscoring Hiram, 24-8, during the next 10:15 to cut the Terrier lead to just three points, 56-53, with 1:25 left to go. The Bishop shooting then went cold and were forced to foul Hiram allowing the Terriers to rack up six straight points on free-throws pushing the lead to a more comfortable nine points, 62-53, with 14 seconds left. OWU would record the final points of the game, but it would come on a layup as time expired, sealing the victory for Hiram with a final score of 62-55.

Hiram shot 36.8 percent (21-of-57) from the floor despite shooting just 17.6 percent (three-of-17) from three-point range. The Terriers took 27 free-throw attempts and would convert on 17 of those attempts. OWU shot 31.0 percent (18-of58) from the floor and also struggled from beyond the arc shooting 29.2 percent (seven-of-24).

The Bishops were led in scoring by LaNiece McRae with 13 points on three-of-seven shooting (42.9 percent), but would shoot seven-of-nine (77.8 percent) at the free-throw line. She would also grab a game-high 16 rebounds. Caroline Welker was the only other OWU player in double-digits with 10 points.

Hiram was led by Kovach who scored a game-high 20 points on eight-of-13 shooting (61.5 percent). Smyers, senior guard Tiffany Shields (Bedford Heights/Bedford) and junior guard/forward Amy Geisman (Middleburg Heights/Midpark) rounding out the high scorers with 10 points each. In addition, Shields also grabbed a team-high 10 boards.

Hiram will travel to Meadville, Pa. for a NCAC game against Allegheny College next Wednesday, Jan. 25. Tip-0ff is scheduled for 6 p.m.