By: Andrew Korba
CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Sophomore Mercedes Jones (Dayton, Ohio/Ponitz Career Technology Center) recorded her first career double-double to lead the Hiram College women's basketball team to a 70-63 season opening victory over Mt. St. Joseph at the Lauren Hill Tipoff Classic.
The Terriers are now 1-0 on the season, while the Lions are 0-1.
The two teams played the game at the Cintas Center on the campus of Xavier University, which was the sight of Hill's inspirational game last season in which she scored four points. Hill passed away this past April from DIPG.
Jones finished the contest with 27 points and 14 rebounds, both of which are new career-bests. She went 9-of-14 from the field and 8-of-10 from the charity stripe.
A jumper from sophomore Allison Vannoy (Mantua, Ohio/Crestwood) allowed Hiram to open up a 6-2 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Lions would counter with a 9-1 run to take a 11-7 advantage, before the Terriers reeled off the final five points of the quarter to take a 13-11 lead after the first.
MSJ would open up a 22-17 lead with 4:20 left in the first half. Hiram would answer with a 15-3 run to close out the half, capped off on a 3-pointer by Jones in the closing seconds.
A layup by Shockley with 2:34 left in the third quarter allowed Hiram to open up a 45-32 lead. Mt. St. Joseph would trim the Terriers lead to 51-42 after three quarters.
Two free throws by Jones with 2:38 remaining gave Hiram its largest lead of the day at 66-51. The Lions would get as close as 68-63 before two free throws from Vannoy put the game away.
Hiram shot a scorching 53.2 percent from the field on 25-of-47 shooting, while limiting MSJ to 31.8 percent on 21-of-66 shooting.
The Terriers also dominated the rebounding battle, winning it 47-28, including a 40-18 edge in defensive rebounds.
Hiram will return to action on Wednesday, as they host Thiel (Pa.) in their home opener at 6 p.m.