Jan. 11 – HIRAM, Ohio – The 2016-17 version of the Hiram College women's basketball team will now be the standard with which future versions of the program will be measured. Still with nine games remaining in the regular season, the Terriers broke the single-season mark for wins by capturing their 13th in a 65-63 triumph over Ohio Wesleyan.
"I think this another great stepping stone for what we are trying to accomplish with this program," commented third-year head coach Emily Hays, who has increased the program's wins in each of her first three years at the helm. "I am really proud of what our team has been able to do so far this year, but we realize that there is still so much more that we can do."
Hiram improved to 13-3 (5-2 NCAC) on the year with the victory over the Battling Bishops, and have now won three-straight games and eight of their last nine. The win breaks the previous mark of 12 which was held by the 2015-16 team, as well as squads from 2010-11 and 1988-89.
Tied 15-15 in the beginning of the second quarter, the host Bishops made the first move, using an 8-2 run to open a six-point lead (23-17) with 6:06 to play in the half. From there, however, the Terriers would fight back, using a 10-4 run to knot the game at 27-27. Mercedes Jones posted six points in the run, while both Kaylee Shockley and Allison Vannoy added buckets.
Over the final two minutes of the half, Hiram would close on an 8-2 run. Following a three-point basket from Shockley, Jones added another bucket before Kayla Yost finished off the half with three-straight free throws to give the Terriers the six-point lead at the break (35-29).
Four-straight points for the Terriers would open the lead to 10 (39-29) as the second half began. That lead would prove to be the largest of the game as the hosts would have an answer.
Ohio Wesleyan outscored the Terriers 18-14 in the third frame to close the gap to just two points at the end of the stanza (49-47). The Bishops would continue to close in, pulling to within one or two points on eight separate occasions between the third and fourth quarters.
Eventually, the hosts were able to capture the lead, using a bucket by Megan Kuether to give the Battling Bishops a 61-60 advantage with 2:04 to play.
Hiram would have an immediate response on their next possession, retaking the lead on a layup by Jazmine Scott with 1:41 to play.
An OWU free throw would tie the game at 61-61, before Shockley added two more points to give the Terriers the lead for good. Hiram would hold Ohio Wesleyan to just two free throws over the final two minutes to secure the 65-63 win.
Offensively, Hiram was led by Shockley and Jones, who finished with 18 points, each. The Hiram starting five did a majority of the damage for the Terriers combining for 59 of the 65 points. Along with Shockley and Jones, Vannoy added nine while Dana Perrotta and Yost scored seven, each.
Defensively, the Terriers finished with 10 steals, getting four apiece from Perrotta and Shockley. Additionally, Shockley added eight rebounds, three assists and a block to her totals.
Hiram will be back in action Saturday, January 14, as they travel to Gambier, Ohio to take on Kenyon College. The matchup is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.