Feb. 8 – HIRAM, Ohio – Hiram College women's basketball junior forward Mercedes Jones etched her name in the Terrier history books with a pair of free throws in the third quarter of Wednesday nights' game, eclipsing 1,000 points as the Terriers fell to Ohio Wesleyan 69-63.
Jones led the Terrier (15-8, 7-7 NCAC) offense with 21 points on 9-11 shooting, but it was her trip to the charity stripe that gave her points number 15 and 16 of the game, making her the seventh Hiram player in program history to tally 1,000.
"Mercedes has been a steady performer for us throughout her three years here at Hiram," remarked third-year head coach Emily Hays. "Her consistent play on the offensive end, along with her hard work, has allowed her to earn this achievement. We as a program want to congratulate her on the milestone."
In the game against the Battling Bishops (9-13, 6-7 NCAC), the Terriers never led, falling behind 17-12 after one quarter of play. Jones carried the offensive load in the frame, notching eight of the team's 12 points.
Ohio Wesleyan ran their first-half advantage to 11 points (27-16) on a layup from Taylor Dickson with 7:43 remaining in the second quarter.
The Terriers would lock down defensively through the remainder of the first half, allowing the Bishops to score just five points over the final 7:43, outscoring their guests 10-5 to close the gap to 32-26 at the break.
In the second half, Hiram was able to trim the lead further, pushing back to within three (35-32) as Jones tallied four-straight points, including her free throws at the 6:55 mark to give her 1,000.
The Battling Bishops would hold the Terriers to just six points over a six-minute span that bridged the remainder of the third and beginning of the fourth quarters, outscoring Hiram 17-6 to grow the lead to its largest of the game (52-38).
Hiram would have one final push left in the tank, outscoring Ohio Wesleyan 21-11 over the next eight minutes, thanks in large part to guard Dana Perrotta, who caught fire from long distance. The senior guard tallied four triples, including the final two, back-to-back, to cut the deficit to 63-59 with 46 seconds remaining.
Time would not be on the Terriers' side, however, as Ohio Wesleyan canned six-straight free throws to push the lead back to nine before handing Hiram the six-point defeat.
Jones served as the offensive catalyst for Hiram, finishing with 21 points. Her point total now gives her eight 20-point performances on the season, marking a new career high. The center finished the game an efficient 9-of-11 from the field, while adding seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
The forward's 21 points tonight gave her 1,005 through her career. She becomes the first Terrier since Cassie Bedard (2003-07) to reach the milestone and now sits seventh on the all-time scoring list (74 points behind Terri McDivitt for sixth).
An efficient scorer, Jones currently ranks second on the all-time career list in field-goal percentage (.486) and her career scoring average of 13.4 ranks seventh. She also currently sits sixth on the list in free-throw percentage (.723) and moved into the top ten in blocked shots (60).
Other leaders for Hiram, included 17 points from Perrotta, who finished 5-of-10 from beyond the three-point arc, and 13 points from Yost. Yost, who came into the game ranked third in the NCAC in rebounds per game, also added nine boards.
Hiram will be back in action on Wednesday, February 15, as they travel to Denison to take on the Big Red. The matchup is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start.