The Hiram College men's basketball team opened the 2018-19 campaign at the BSG Tip-Off Tournament in Rochester, N.Y., falling to host Nazareth College, 88-81, on Friday evening.
Despite the loss, the new-look Terriers put together a solid performance against the reining Empire 8 Conference champion.
Trailing by 10 in the early stages of the second half, the Terriers made their move as junior Sherman Dean III came alive. One of just six returning players on the Hiram roster this season, Dean sparked Hiram, scoring 15 of the Terrier's 20 points in a 20-9 run that give Hiram a one-point lead (56-55).
Dean knocked down a trio of triples in the run, including the final three that gave the Terriers their first lead since early in the first half.
Hiram maintained the advantage over the next seven minutes of action, running their lead to as many as six (70-64) on a three-point basket by Tyler McMillion.
Following a Nazareth timeout, the Golden Flyers retook the advantage with a 7-0 run, and put together an 11-point swing in total to take a five-point lead (75-70) with 4:23 to play.
Hiram would pull the game within one point on two-separate occasions, but were unable to get over the hump. Nazareth took advantage of foul shooting in the latter portion of the game to seal the seven-point win.
With the two sides keeping things extremely close in the stat column, the telling number of the night came from the charity stripe. The Golden Flyers went to the line 15 more times than Hiram, outscoring the Terriers 23-12 from the free-throw line.
Hiram held a 12-point advantage beyond the arc, as the Terriers knocked down nine compared to just five for Nazareth. Dean tallied three, while newcomer Christian Crespo also added a trio of triples.
Each team tallied nine steals in the outing, but the Golden Flyers held an eight-point advantage in points off turnovers (23-15) as Hiram committed 20 total on the evening.
Individually it was a night full of firsts for the Terriers. Crespo led the way for Hiram in his first-career start with the Terriers, tallying a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Four Terriers finished in double figures, including Dean, who tallied 15, and Marcel Rice and Jalen Kirksey, who tallied 10, apiece. Rice added a career-high six blocks to his totals while also pulling down eight boards.
Clingain got the start for Hiram, posting 22 minutes, while tallying six points and eight boards. McMillion finished with seven points and six rebounds off the bench, while Gordon added five points, and Moulton, two, in a reserve role.
The Terriers will be back in action tomorrow afternoon as they take on Cazenovia in the consolation game of the BSG Tip-off tournament. The matchup is scheduled for a 1 p.m. tip.