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Hiram Men’s Basketball Holds off Trine’s Second-Half Surge to Pick Up 72-70 Victory

Hiram Men’s Basketball Holds off Trine’s Second-Half Surge to Pick Up 72-70 Victory

ANGOLA, Ind. - December 14, 2019 – Jalen Kirksey connected on a four-point play with 1.7 seconds to play, and Antonio McQueen recorded a first double-double to help give Hiram Terriers men's basketball a 72-70 win over the Trine Thunder on Saturday at the MTI Center in their opening game of the St. Andrews Products Classic.

With the score knotted at six with 16:06 to play in the first half, Hiram opened up an eight-point lead with a 15-7 run over the next eight minutes. McQueen knocked down a pair of shots, while Austin Blatt and Sherman Dean III each connected on a three to give Hiram a lead to 21-13 with 7:47 left in the first half.

A Thunder layup cut the lead to six, before the Terriers went on another run, outscoring Trine 11-2 over the next 3:31 to take a double-digit, 32-17 lead.

Hiram led by as many as 16 in the first half, 37-21 following Brodgie Gordon's runner with 1:52 to play, before taking a 14-point, 37-23 lead into the locker room.

McQueen led the Terriers with 12 points and seven rebounds at the half, while Hiram outrebounded the Thunder, 25-18, holding Trine to just 26.7 percent shooting and 0-for-8 from beyond the arc.

But the Thunder quickly found their shooting touch in the second half, cutting into the Terriers lead. A 6-0 run to open the second half made it a 10-point game, and with 15:29 to play, Hiram's lead stood at just nine.

Jake Daniels knocked down back-to-back three-pointers for the Thunder, Trine's first made threes of the game, to cut Hiram's lead to just three. And quickly thereafter the Thunder took their first lead of the second half with 13:04 to play.

Hiram battled back, retaking the lead on Blatt's layup and taking a four-point lead on Gordon's triple. From there, the Terriers and Thunder battled back-and-forth over the next couple minutes with Hiram unable to extend their lead to much more than one possession, and the Thunder unable to tie things up.

Following Bryce Williams' layup to pull Trine within one, Hiram took a timeout, and three free throws and Kevin Beans Jr.'s layup following the timeout once again made it a four-point game.

Trine answered with a run, this time taking the lead on Daniels' triple with just under two minutes to play. A Thunder layup made it a three-point game, but McQueen cut it back to one on a put back.

And after Daniels missed a jumper, Kirksey drew a foul and knocked down both free throws to give Hiram a 68-67 lead. However, Brent Cox's and-one put the Thunder right back on top, 70-68, with 16 seconds to play.

Kirksey again came up huge though, knocked down a three and drawing a foul, completing the four-point play to put the Terriers on top for good as Trine missed a shot at the buzzer.

The Terriers move to 4-5 with the win, while the Thunder drop to 4-3 with the loss, suffering their first loss at home this season.

McQueen led the Terriers with 17 points and 14 rebounds for his first double-double of the year, while Kirksey tallied 16 points and eight rebounds. Dean III and Blatt each added 11 points apiece.

The Terriers shot 44.8 percent from the field and outrebounded the Thunder, 43-33, while holding Trine to 39.7 percent shooting, and 23.1 percent from three.

The Terriers wrap up the St. Andrews Products Classic on Sunday, Dec. 15 with a matchup against the Adrian College Bulldogs at 1:00 p.m. at the MTI Center.