HIRAM, OHIO – Senior guard Jamaal Watkins (South Euclid/Brush) scored a game-high 27 points to pace the Hiram College men's basketball team in a 67-51 win against DePauw (Ind.) University today (Saturday, Jan. 7) in a North Coast Athletic Conference game at Price Gymnasium.
With the win, the Terriers improve to 9-4 overall and 2-2 in the NCAC. Hiram has won seven of its last eight games. The Tigers fall to 8-6 overall and 2-2 NCAC.
Hiram trailed early in the game, 5-3, but took the lead on an ensuing 9-0 scoring run that ended in a layup by Watkins making the score 12-5 at the 17:23 mark. DePauw battled back to get to within two points near the midway point of the period, but the Terriers would never end up trailing in the game again. Hiram went on a six-point run to extend the lead to a more comfortable eight points, 26-18, with 8:28 left to play in the half. The Terriers went on to lead by as many as 13 points on two occassions with the last one being a 36-23 advantage thanks to a layup by sophomore guard Matt Roman (North Olmsted) at the 2:48 mark en route to Hiram having a 38-26 lead at halftime.
DePauw slowly chipped away at the Hiram lead in the first 10 minutes of the second half, narrowing the gap to four points, 47-43, with 9:39 left in the game. Watkins connected on another jumper that sparked a 13-2 run to put the Terriers back up by double-digits, 60-45 at the 4:06 mark. The Tigers would never threaten to take the lead again as Hiram recorded its largest lead of the game of 18 points, 67-49, with 1:23 left to play and went on to win by the final of 67-51.
DePauw shot 40.0 percent (20-of-50) from the floor, but would only convert 20.8 percent (five-of-24) of its attempts from three-point range. The Tigers were led in scoring by Barry Flynn with 11 points on four-of-six shooting (66.7 percent). Flynn was the only DePauw player in double-figures and also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
Hiram shot 48.1 percent (26-of-54) from the field and 81.8 percent (nine-of-11) at the free-throw line. The Terriers were led by Watkins' game-high 27 points on 12-of-15 shooting (80.0 percent). It marks the fourth straight game that Watkins has scored 20 or more points. Two other players scored in double-digits with sophomore guard Aaron Stefanov (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) and senior guard Andrew Wiegand (Amherst/Firelands) each scoring 13 points.
Hiram will travel to Wooster for a NCAC matchup against current No. 15 nationally-ranked The College of Wooster on Wednesday, Jan. 7. The game will be part of a basketball doubleheader with the Terrier women's team. The women will take on the Fighting Scots at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8 p.m.