Dec. 16 – HIRAM, Ohio – Led by the guard duo of freshman Jalen Kirksey and senior Terrence Warren, the Hiram College men's basketball team outlasted Wabash College in overtime, 75-68, on Saturday afternoon.
The Terriers and Little Giants needed five extra minutes to decide a winner in Saturday's tilt, as the two sides were knotted at 64-64 following 40 minutes of action. Wabash forced the overtime thanks to a 7-2 run over the final four minutes. Colten Garland tied the game with 30 seconds remaining with a pair of free throws.
In the overtime period, Hiram got on the board first, as senior Isaiah Matthews posted two of his eight points on a tip-in on the Terrier's first possession.
Wabash responded by holding Hiram scoreless over the next 2:30, using four free-throws to take a two-point advantage (68-66). Those would be the only points the Terriers would allow in the overtime frame.
Over the final 1:58, Hiram used a 9-0 run, suffocating the Little Giant offense, to nab the victory and move to 3-1 in conference play.
Warren canned his second three pointer of the game at the 1:40 mark to help Hiram retake the one-point advantage. Two possessions later, Kirksey stepped into a passing lane, making his third steal of the night. He then took it the length of the court for a fast-break, two-handed dunk, extending the lead to three (71-68).
Kirksey was not done, calmly knocking down a pair of free throws with 19 seconds to play, before ending a Wabash possession with another steal and a fast-break, behind-the-back, assist to Kelvin Jones to round out the scoring 75-68.
The freshman from Massillon came up big in the OT frame, scoring four points while adding a pair of steals and an assist to help cement the win for the Terriers.
The game looked to be one of runs in the first half as the Terriers ran out to a 9-2 advantage in the opening minutes. Warren opened the game with a triple, while Jones added four points in the run. Each player finished with 16 points.
Following the opening momentum by the Terriers, Wabash responded, going on a 20-3 run to take the largest lead of the game (22-12) with 8:48 to go.
Over the next four minutes, Hiram would chisel the lead down with a 13-2 run of their own to take a one point lead. Senior Paul Ortiz threw down a pair of dunks in the run, while Warren posted seven points.
From that point, through the entirety of the second half, neither team held more than a five point advantage. The second-half saw eight ties and five lead changes, before Warren and Kirksey carried the Terriers over the finish line in the overtime frame.
Defensively, Hiram held the Little Giants to their lowest point total of the season, forcing 18 turnovers. The Terriers held an 18-5 advantage in turnovers, while also totaling 12 steals and seven blocked shots.
Warren, along with sophomore Austin Blatt, did yeomen's work on the NCAC's leading scorer, Jack Davidson. The Little Giant freshman came into the game averaging 22 points per night. Blatt totaled three steals on the Wabash guard as he and Warren combined to hold Davidson to 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting, to go along with eight turnovers.
Warren, Kirksey and Jones all shared the team-high scoring with 16 points, each. Jones tallied another double-double, finishing with 11 boards. Kirksey had a nice, all-around game, adding four steals, three assists and seven rebounds to his totals. Warred posted six boards and three assists.
Other leaders for Hiram included nine points from Ortiz and eight from Matthews. Sherman Dean III also led all bench scorers with seven.
The Terriers will be back in action on Sunday, December 17, as they play the second half of their home back-to-back against DePauw University. The matchup with the Tigers is slated for 2 p.m.