Nov. 12 – CINCINNATI, Ohio – Thanks to a last-second, overtime, three-point play from sophomore forward Erica Johnson, the Hiram College women's basketball team opened their 2016-17 campaign with a 63-62 win over Mount St. Joseph University on Saturday afternoon.
The game was played at Xavier University's Cintas Center as part of the University's "Bounce for a Cure" campaign, as well as serving as the second annual Lauren Hill Tipoff Classic. The Terriers and Lions squared off following a game between Xavier and Tennessee State.
The Terriers opened the game strong, outscoring Mount St. Joseph 17-6 in the opening quarter. The first basket of the new year was scored on a three-point bucket by Dana Perrotta, who finished the game with 12 total points.
Hiram was on fire from long distance in the frame, as the Terriers put in five three pointers in the opening ten minutes, in the midst of a 17-4 run. Perrotta added another three, while Clover Kaple, Kaylee Shockley and Allison Vannoy all added a trey.
The Terriers would continue to lead by double digits in the first half, extending their lead to as many as 16 (28-12) on free throws from Savana Lowrey. The lead would never drop below ten in the opening 20 minutes, as Hiram took a 30-19 lead into the break.
The second half took a turn in favor of the Lions, as MSJ opened the second half with a 9-0 run to cut the Hiram lead to 30-28. The teams would continue to trade baskets from there, with Hiram holding on to a 38-36 advantage by the end of quarter number three.
Mount Saint Joseph would complete the comeback with 49-seconds to play in the fourth quarter, when a Hayley Hudson three-pointer found the net to give the Lions a 51-50 lead. A pair of free-throws would extend the advantage to 53-50, before the Terriers found a way to force overtime.
With 11 seconds remaining in regulation, Perrotta connected on another three-point bucket, her third of the game, to knot the game at 53-53 and send it into overtime.
Kayla Yost opened the overtime frame with a jumper for her first points of the season to give the Terriers a 55-53 advantage. Hiram would then run out to a three-point advantage (57-54), before a 4-0 run swung things back in favor of the Lions.
Still trailing by three with under a minute to play, Perrotta came through in the clutch yet again, knocking down her fourth triple to tie the game at 60, each.
The Lions would come back again, taking the two-point lead on a layup by Ciera Phillips with just six seconds remaining. Phillips finished the game with a game-high 22 points.
Hiram would have one more play in them at the end of the first overtime, as Johnson netted her first bucket of the game, and was fouled, with one second remaining. The sophomore also scored the pressure free throw, giving the Terriers the 62-62 victory.
The Terriers played an efficient game behind the arc to earn the win over the Lions, going 10-of-22 from three-point range. Both Perrotta and Kaple netted four triples in the win, while Shockley and Vannoy added one, each.
Playing in her first collegiate game, Kaple played well off the bench. The freshman played 25 minutes in the victory, shooting 55 percent from the field and posting a team high 15 points. Savana Lowery also added 15, while Perrotta finished with 12.
Defensively, the Terriers held Mount St. Joseph to 27 percent shooting on the day, while also forcing 21 Lion turnovers.
Hiram will be back in action on Tuesday, November 15, when they travel to Greenville, Pa. to take on the Tomcats of Thiel College. The matchup is set for a 5:30 p.m. start.