The Hiram College women's basketball led by as many as 18 points on Saturday afternoon, collecting their first North Coast Athletic Conference victory of the season with a 74-62 win over The College of Wooster.
With the victory, Hiram moves over the .500 mark (4-3) and begins 1-0 in conference play. Wooster, meanwhile, falls to 3-3 and 0-2 in the conference.
Wooster scored first in the game, taking a quick 3-0 lead on a three-point play by Akwia Tilton. Hiram, however, would trail for just 2:31 seconds of the action throughout the day, quickly taking the lead back with a 23-point first quarter.
Hiram regained the advantage on back-to-back baskets by Paris Thompson and Madison Branch. Branch added a three-point basket to the 9-0 that gave the Terriers a 9-3 lead with 5:55 to go in the frame. Hiram led by seven at the end of the first quarter, shooting 50% from the field.
In the second stanza, Hiram's lead would grow to as many as ten (31-21) on a jumper by Erica Johnson with 5:29 left in the first half. Wooster would respond, however, with a 10-0 run to tie the game.
Hiram would not be deterred as a three-pointer from freshman Josie Earnhardt re-took the advantage for the Terriers as part of an 8-0 swing to end the half.
Leading by 11 after three quarters, the Terriers opened the fourth by pushing their lead to 18 (62-44). Branch was once again key, posting five of Hiram's seven points.
The Scots would get as close as seven (62-55) with a quick run the in late stages of the fourth, but a 5-0 swing from Earnhardt would push the lead back to double digits, where it would stay for the remainder of the game.
Offensively, Branch led the Terrier's scoring effort for the first time this season, posting 17 points while adding a team-best four steals and three assists. She finished 7-of-13 from the floor and knocked down a pair of triples.
Other offensive leaders for Hiram included 12 from Earnhardt, who tallied double-digits for the third time in her last five games. She currently ranks second on the team in scoring at 11.6 per night. Thompson also finished in double figures with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Overall, the Terriers controlled the glass, outrebounding the Scots 51-37. Johnson led the rebounding efforts with 12, including four offensive rebounds. Hiram collected 17 caroms on the offensive glass, leading to 21 second-chance points. Freshman Megan Davis led the effort with five offensive boards off the bench.
Hiram will next be in action on December 5, as they head to Granville, Ohio for the first NCAC road test of the season. The matchup with the Big Red is scheduled for 6 p.m.