HIRAM, Ohio - December 4, 2019 – Hiram Terriers men's basketball defeated the Denison University Big Red, 76-64, on Wednesday at Price Gymnasium to pick up their first conference victory of the year.
After a slow start to the first half, Brodgie Gordon got the Terriers on the scoreboard with a jumper, knotting the score at 2-2 with 17:34 to play in the half.
A couple minutes later, the Terriers and Big Red stood tied at seven before Antonio McQueen threw down a ferocious dunk, one of five in the first half for the Terriers to take a 9-7 lead.
Denison though, scored the next five points to take a five-point, 14-9 lead on a pair of free throws with 12:33 left in the half. The five-point lead would amount to the Big Red's largest lead of the game, and Hiram would answer with a 12-3 scoring run over the next seven minutes to take a 21-16 lead.
The Terriers led by as many as seven in the first half before a late Denison run, capped off by Matt Gerics' three-pointer, tied the game at 29 heading to the locker room.
McQueen led the Terriers with a game-high 12 points at the half, while the Terriers outscored the Big Red, 24-12, in the paint.
With the score tied at 31-31, Denison took a 33-31 lead on Kevin Cheng's jumper, but it would prove to be their last lead of the night. Hiram quickly took the lead on Tyler McMillion's three-pointer, and extended their lead out to five on Jalen Kirksey's and-one.
Denison cut the Terriers' lead to two, 48-46, with just over eight minutes to play, but Gordon and the Terriers brought the lead back out to six on a three-pointer with just under seven and a half remaining.
The Big Red made it a four-point game with 6:29 to play, but that'd be as close as the Big Red got the rest of the way. Hiram made their free throws down the stretch as they extended their lead to 12, their largest lead of the game, with 1:25 to play to finish off the 76-64 victory.
Hiram shot 34 free throws, including 24-of-32 (75 percent) in the second half, outscoring the Big Red, 47-35 in the final period to pick up their 76-64 victory and snap a four-game losing streak.
With the win, Hiram moves to 3-4 (1-1 NCAC) on the year, while Denison falls to 2-4 (0-1 NCAC).
Kirksey led the Terriers with 26 points, one shy of a season-high, shooting a perfect 14-of-14 from the charity stripe to surpass Josh Edmondson's program record of free throw percentage in a game (minimum 10 attempts). Kirksey also added eight rebounds and five assists.
McQueen notched a season-high 16 points, adding eight rebounds, while Gordon joined the duo in double-figures with 12.
Hiram scored 17 points of 19 Big Red turnovers, while also outscoring Denison in the paint, 38-28. The game featured five ties and five lead changes, but just three lead changes and one tie in the second half.
The Terriers next travel to Delaware, Ohio on Saturday, Dec. 7 to take on the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops at Branch Rickey Arena at 3:00 p.m.