Feb. 3 – GREENCASTLE, Ind. – The Hiram College women's basketball team shook off a slow start to pull within three points of #11 DePauw in the fourth quarter, but ultimately fell to the Tigers 61-50 on Friday evening.
DePauw came into tonight's contest as the 11th-ranked team in the country by D3hoops.com and improved to 19-1 (12-0 NCAC) with the win over the Terriers.
Hiram (15-6, 7-5 NCAC) struggled in the first half, as the Tigers, who rank first in the NCAC in points allowed (50.0), held the Terriers to just 17 points and 30 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes. Despite the offensive struggles, however, Hiram still found themselves down just 10 at the break (27-17).
Trailing by as many as 14 points (36-22) with 6:45 remaining in the third quarter, the Terriers showed their resolve. Hiram put together a 13-2 run in the span of just 3:45 to trim the deficit to three points (38-35).
Following a three by Kaylee Shockley which opened the run, Mercedes Jones posted eight-consecutive points, including two separate "old-fashioned" three-point plays. Shockley then came up with a steal and a bucket to trim the Tiger lead to three and force a timeout.
Despite the offensive rally, DePauw would respond before the quarter's end, pushing the lead back out to eight points by closing the frame on a 9-4 run.
The Terriers would make one final push in the fourth quarter. Still trailing by ten with 8:17 to play, the Hiram defense locked down, holding the Tigers without a basket for over six minutes. In the same stretch, Hiram received baskets from Jones and Kayla Yost, as well as a three from Allison Vannoy. The 7-0 run once again cut DePauw's lead to three (52-49) with 3:28 to play.
The conference's best defensive team would once again lock down on the Terriers, however, holding Hiram to just one point in the final 3:28. The Tigers closed the game on a 9-1 run, handing Hiram just the 61-50 defeat.
The Terrier starting five provided the entire offense for Hiram with both Jones and Shockley playing the entire 40 minutes. Jones finished the game 7-of-13 from the field for a team-high 18 points. Shockley, meanwhile, finished with 15 points, four rebounds and two steals. Vannoy added nine points, while Yost finished with six.
Hiram will continue conference action tomorrow afternoon, as they travel to Springfield, Ohio to take on the Tigers of Wittenberg University. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.