HIRAM, OHIO – The Hiram College men's basketball team lost, 79-73, to Ohio Wesleyan University today (Saturday, Feb. 11) in a North Coast Athletic Conference game at Price Gymnasium.
With the loss, the Terriers are now 13-10 overall and 6-8 in the NCAC. The Battling Bishops improve to 17-6 overall and 9-5 NCAC.
The first half featured four ties and 10 lead changes with neither team leading by more than seven points. OWU recorded its largest lead of the period of five points, 14-9, at the 13:50 mark. Later in the half, both teams were tied at 28-28 when Hiram went on a 12-3 scoring run that gave the Terriers their largest margin of seven points, 38-31, on a jumper by sophomore guard Aaron Stefanov (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) with just under two minutes to go. The Bishops tallied the only points in the final minutes to cut the deficit to 38-33 at the break.
In the second half, OWU battled back to tie the game at 48-48 with 13:58 left to play. The Bishops would later take the lead and would have a six-point advantage at the 9:41 mark. Hiram got to within three points on its ensuing possession thanks to a three-pointer by Stefanov to make the score 60-57. But OWU answered with a 9-0 run to record a double-digit lead, 69-57, with 5:37 left to play. Hiram came back to get to within five points on two occassions down the stretch, including a 78-73 deficit with 11 seconds remaining following a triple by junior guard Alan Sheppard (Wadsworth). But time would not be on the Terrier's side as the Bishops connected on a pair of free-throws after the Sheppard basket that all but iced the game for OWU and preserved a 79-73 victory.
Both teams shot well from the floor with the edge going in favor of Hiram who shot 47.0 percent (31-of-66) and OWU shot 43.5 percent (27-of-62). The difference came at the free-throw line with the Bishops taking 26 attempts and connecting on 19 (73.1 percent). The Terriers took just five attempts from the charity stripe and made two (40.0 percent).
OWU was led in scoring by Tim Brady with a game-high 26 points on eight-of-17 shooting (47.1 percent), including nine-of-10 (90.0 percent) at the free-throw line. Andy Winters was the other Bishop player in double-figures with 15 points. In addition, Vaughn Spaulding and Marshall Morris each grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
Hiram was led by the duo of Sheppard and senior guard Jamaal Watkins (South Euclid) with 18 points each. Watkins also grabbed eight boards. Stefanov also scored in double-figures with 15 points. Senior guard Andrew Wiegand (Amherst/Firelands) posted a game-high 10 rebounds.
Hiram will host Oberlin College on Wednesday, Feb. 15 in the regular-season finale at Price Gym. The game will be part of a basketball doubleheader with the Terrier women's team. The women will host Ursuline College at 6 p.m., followed by the men against Yeomen at 8 p.m.