By: Abbey Lipcsik
HIRAM, Ohio – Junior Mercedes Jones recorded her third double-double performance of the season as Hiram shattered another school record in a 76-55 win over Allegheny College on Saturday.
With the win, the Terriers (15-5, 7-4 NCAC) posted their seventh conference triumph of the season, surpassing the 2015-16 record of six. The total marks the second-consecutive year under head coach Emily Hays that the Terriers have set a new standard in conference play.
Jones finished the game with 20 points and 11 rebounds. The game marked the seventh time that the center tallied 20 or more points in a single game this season. She also totaled five steals, marking a new career-high.
The Terrier defense owned the first quarter, recording 11 steals. Jones led the way with four, while Allison Vannoy followed with three. Clover Kaple, Kayla Yost and Sarah Spehn also added one apiece.
Despite having a seven-point deficit going into the second quarter (18-11), the Gators chipped away at Hiram's lead and eventually tied the score with 4:19 left in the half (23-23). The Terriers then answered back with a 16-1 scoring run in the final four minutes.
Yost opened the run with a pair of freethrows, which were followed by four-straight three pointers. Vannoy connected on a pair, before Dana Perrotta posted two triples and finished the half with two from the line. The senior guard posted half of the run's points, scoring eight of the 16.
Vannoy controlled the first 20 minutes for Hiram, shooting 6-of-8 from the field for 14 points, while adding three rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Hiram continued their momentum in the second half, pushing the lead to as many as 22 (56-34). The Gators attempted to make a comeback a few times in the half, but were unable to recover and the Terriers secured the win.
Jones was a force on the offensive end in the second half, totaling 14 points while adding seven rebounds. She finished the matchup with the game high, leading three in double figures.
Other offensive leaders for the Terriers included 18 points from Vannoy and 10 from Perrotta. Yost finished the game with eight points and nine rebounds, while Eric Johnson added six points and eight boards.
Hiram controlled the glass, outrebounding Allegheny 51-40, including 15 offensive boards.
On defense, the team collectively finished with 19 steals, falling just short of the season-high (21).
The Terriers, who currently sit in a tie for third place in the NCAC standings, will next travel to DePauw on Friday, February 3. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.