By: Abbey Lipcsik
HIRAM, Ohio – Despite a furious late-game rally, the Hiram College men's basketball team fell short by a final score of 70-64 in their matchup against Wabash on Friday evening.
With just under two minutes to play and trailing by 14 points, the Terriers, fueled by Austin Blatt and Jeremiah Thomas, outscored the Little Giants 12-0 to come within two points of Wabash (64-62) with 1:09 left in the game.
The Little Giants kept the momentum throughout the game thanks to Colton Garland. The guard played the entire 40 minutes, finishing with a team-high 26 points. He shot 9-18 from the field (.500) and 6-13 (.462) from beyond the arc.
The Wabash defense, which came into the game ranked second in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) in opponents' points per game (68.5), held the Terriers to a .229 shooting percentage in the first half.
The Little Giants took their largest lead of the game (18) with 53 seconds remaining in the first half after a layup by Logan White made the score 38-20. Two free throws by Kyle Deckerd would trim the lead to 38-22 at the half.
The Terriers continued chip away at Wabash's lead in the second half. With the score 64-50 and 2:52 left in the game, Hiram went on their 12-0 run to overcome the 14-point deficit and trim the deficit to 64-62. Blatt totaled four points in the run, while Thomas and Jared Butler followed with three. Brevin Dye also added a pair of free throws.
Although the Terriers were within striking distance, the Little Giants tacked on five points in the final minute to secure the win.
Thomas led the Terrier offense, finishing with 12 points in 26 minutes of play. He is currently averaging 10.6 points per game since being named a starter on January 21. Dye also was a key contributor, totaling a career-best 11 points.
The deciding factor of the game was second-chance points. Wabash totaled 15 points off of 17 offensive rebounds, while Hiram tallied nine off of the same number of rebounds.
Hiram will have a quick turnaround and host DePauw on Saturday, February 4. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.