Nov. 27 – NEW WILMINGTON, Ohio – The Terrier women's basketball team used a solid first half, and held on late to defeat Westminster College, 52-50, on Monday evening.
Despite blowing a 15-point, fourth-quarter advantage, the Terriers found themselves knotted at 50-50 with possession of the ball in the waning seconds of the game.
The freshmen duo of Alainna Conroy and Madison Branch helped seal the victory for Hiram. Conroy split a pair of free throws with 10 seconds remaining to end a 19-4 Westminster run, and give the Terriers a 51-50 advantage.
After forcing a Titan turnover, Conroy was fouled again, this time with four seconds on the clock. After missing the first free throw attempt, the freshman guard calmly knocked down the second, extending the advantage to 52-50.
On Westminster's final possession, Branch came away with a steal, negating any Titan attempt at the tie, and giving Hiram their second win of the season.
The final ten seconds were indicative of how the Terrier defense plagued the Westminster offense throughout the entirety of the contest. Overall, Hiram held the Titans to just 38% shooting while forcing 23 turnovers in the matchup.
Hiram raced out to a 32-18, halftime advantage, forcing 16 Westminster turnovers in the process. The host Titans were able to score just nine points in both the first and second quarters against the Terrier D.
Westminster opened the game on a 7-2 run over the first five minutes. However, the Terriers responded with a 13-2 swing to end the first quarter. Senior leader Allison Vannoy tallied six points in the swing, before Branch rattled off five straight, including a three-point basket.
The run would continue into the second quarter as Vannoy opened the frame with five-consecutive, giving the Terriers a 20-9 advantage with 8:32 remaining in the half.
The hosts would trim the lead back to single digits at the 5:42 mark, before three points from Erica Johnson and five-straight from Conroy extended the lead to 28-14. The two sides would combine for just eight more points through the remainder of the half, and the Terriers held the 14-point advantage at the break.
The third quarter was tightly contested, but the Terriers managed to extend the lead to 15 (46-31) through three. Of the 14 Terrier points scored in the third, the senior duo of Vannoy and Jazmine Scott combined for 10.
The Titans came all the way back in the fourth frame, outscoring the Terriers 19-4. Westminster knocked down just one three in the quarter, but it was the equalizer from Aliya Gage with 19 tics remaining on the clock.
From there, the Terriers locked down defensively, forcing two turnovers and getting just enough from the charity stripe from Conroy, to hold on for the two-point win.
Offensively, the Terriers saw five players score at least seven, led by 15 from Vannoy. Her point total marked the seventh-consecutive game in which she has totaled double figures. Conroy and Branch finished the night with nine, each. Scott added eight off the bench, while Johnson finished with seven points and led the team with 10 rebounds.
Hiram, who picked up their first road win of the season, will be back in action on Friday, Dec. 1, as they travel to Greencastle, Ind. to take on DePauw University. The conference matchup is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.