By: Andrew Korba
WESTERVILLE, OHIO -- Freshman Mercedes Jones (Dayton/Ponitz Career Technology Center) scored a career-high 21 points, but the Hiram College women's basketball team fell to Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) in the second and final game of the Otterbein Smokey Ballenger Classic on Sunday afternoon.
The Terriers drop to 4-7 on the season, while the Presidents improve to 9-1.
Jones led three Terriers in double-figure scoring, going 10-of-16 from the field. She also pulled down five rebounds.
Sophomore Kayla Yost (Norwalk/Perkins) had 15 points and 12 rebounds, for her fifth straight and sixth double-double of the season.
Senior Kelsey Koskinen (Madison) added 14 points, three rebounds and two assists.
Washington & Jefferson was led by Beka Bellhy, who scored a game-high 24 points.
The Terriers came out of the gate strong and used an early 6-0 run, capped off by a layup from Jones, to open a 10-5 advantage.
The Presidents countered with a 10-2 run to take a 15-12 lead.
Washington & Jefferson would then used a 15-0 run to expand its lead to 34-17 with just over two minutes left in the half. The President would take a 37-22 lead into the break.
In the second half, Hiram used an early 7-0 run to to cut the deficit to 44-36 with 14:35 remaining.
A 3-pointer from Koskinen a few possessions later brought Hiram to within five points at 46-41.
But the Presidents came right back and scored the next nine points to push their lead back to 55-43 with 10:42 left in the game.
The Terriers were able to cut the deficit to nine points at 57-48, on a layup by freshman Kaylle Shockley (Uniontown/Lake), with just under nine minutes to play.
But Hiram would get no closer the rest of the way.
The Terriers finished the game 22-of-64 (39.4 percent) in shooting, while Washington & Jefferson was 26-of-61 (42.6 percent).
The Presidents held a slim 44-41 edge in the rebounding battle.
Hiram will return to action on Friday, when it returns to NCAC play at Wittenberg at 6 p.m.