By: Andrew Korba
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- Senior J.J. Woodson (Oakwood Village, Ohio/Bedford) led three Terriers in double figure scoring as the Hiram College men's basketball team defeated Thiel (Pa.) 84-81 for its first win of the season at the Buzz Ridl Classic hosted by Westminster (Pa.).
Woodson led the Terriers (1-1) with 21 points, while pulling down six rebounds, dishing out three assists and recording three steals.
Sophomore Paul Ortiz (Canton, Ohio/McKinley Senior) added 16 points and sophomore Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, Ohio/Sheffield Lake) posted his first double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 boards.
A dunk by Ortiz at the 17:19 mark of the first half gave the Terriers an early 11-4 edge.
The Tomcats (1-2) would slowly chip away and would take a 19-15 with 12:54 remaining in the first half.
Thiel would never relinquish its lead for the rest of the half and took a 46-40 advantage into the break.
A Woodson layup with 13:39 left in the game would give the Terriers the lead back at 54-52.
Jones layup that capped a 12-2 run for the Terriers and gave them a 72-60 with just over seven minutes remaining in the contest.
Thiel would counter with a 10-1 run of its own, cutting Hiram's lead to 73-70 with 3:15 left in the game.
Hiram would push its lead back to 82-75, but the Tomcats would get to within 83-81 in the closing seconds.
Junior Joe Zoltowski (Erie, Pa./Harbor Creek) would split a pair of free throws and Thiel's desperation 3-point attempt was no good to give the Terriers the win.
The Terriers finished 34-of-74 (45.9 percent) from the field, but struggled from the free throw line, going 9-of-26 (34.6 percent). Thiel was 31-of-64 (48.4 percent) in shooting and 15-of-19 (78.9 percent) from the charity stripe.
The Tomcats won the rebounding battle 45-39, but Hiram pulled down 20 offensive rebounds which led to 28 second chance points.
The Terriers will conclude play at the Buzz Ridl Classic by taking on the host Titans on Saturday at 4 p.m.