Dec. 10 – MEADVILLE, Pa. – The Hiram College men's basketball team used a hot shooting night from long range to earn a 12-point victory, 90-78, over Allegheny College on Saturday afternoon.
The Terriers (3-4, 2-0 NCAC) jumped out to an early advantage, taking a 13-3 lead through the first four minutes of the game. Paul Ortiz picked up where he left off from Wednesday night, knocking down a pair of triples to spur the run.
The host Gators would respond, turning a ten-point deficit into a four-point lead (36-32) with just under two minutes remaining in the half. Role player Evan Zabriski lifted the Gators to the four-point advantage, scoring 19 of Allegheny's 33 points in the swing.
Hiram would close the half with a 6-0 run of their own, including five more points from Ortiz, taking a 38-36 lead into the break.
The swing of the game came at the 16-minute mark of the second stanza. Trailing 48-46, the Terriers used an 11-2 run to push out to a nine-point advantage. Senior Kyle Deckerd buried a three-point basket to open the run, which was followed by five-straight points from senior Isaiah Matthews. Deckerd then canned another triple before Kelvin Jones finished the run, giving Hiram a nine-point lead (59-50).
Jeremiah Thomas would then do his part for the cause, scoring seven-consecutive points to help extend the advantage to 11 points (66-55) with 9:55 to play in the game.
Allegheny would respond with one more push over the next four minutes, cutting the Terriers' lead to five points (70-65) on a basket by Jordan Rawls.
It was from there, however, that the Terriers would put the game away, connecting on four-consecutive three pointers. Thomas would hit back-to-back triples, before Ortiz buried two more to push the lead to 82-69.
Down the stretch, Hiram would keep the Gators at bay, defensively, while hitting on 8-of-10 from the charity stripe to put the game away, 90-78.
The Terriers, who came into the game shooting over 50% on the season, were on fire from beyond the arc, connecting on a season-high 14 triples. Hiram shot 14-of-28 in the game, including Ortiz, who hit on 6-of-9 from deep.
Ortiz and Jones led the way for Hiram for the second-consecutive game, with each player totaling over 20 points. After combining for 50 points in the win over Wooster, the duo finished with 46 points on 15-of-25 shooting.
Other offensive leaders for the Terriers included Thomas' season-high 17 points. The senior finished 6-of-10 from the field and was a perfect, three-for-three, from beyond the arc. Additionally, Deckerd and Matthews finished with nine points, each.
The Terriers controlled the glass, outrebounding the Gators 41-35, including a season-high 17 from Jones. His 22 points and 17 boards marked his sixth double-double in seven games to start the season.
Hiram took care of the basketball in the win, while forcing the Gators into multiple mistakes. The Terriers turned the ball over just five times, and held a 21-0 advantage in points off turnovers.
Hiram will be back in action on Saturday, December 17, as they continue NCAC action at Wabash. The matchup with the Little Giants is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start.