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Strong shooting lifts Men's Basketball to McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday Tournament title

Strong shooting lifts Men's Basketball to McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday Tournament title

By: Andrew Korba

| McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday Tournament |

BLUFFTON, Ohio -- The Hiram College men's basketball team shot 54.0 percent from the field in a 91-71 victory over host Bluffton in the McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday Tournament championship.

The Terriers are now 8-2 on the season, while the Beavers fall to 7-3

Hiram knocked down 34-of-63 shot attempts in the contest, including 10-of-21 (47.6 percent) 3-pointers.

Senior J.J. Woodson (Oakwood Village, Ohio/Bedford) led a balanced Terrier offensive attack with 15 points.

Sophomore Paul Ortiz (Canton, Ohio/McKinley Senior) finished with 12 points and sophomore Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, Ohio/Brookside) knocked down all four of his shot attempts and a pair of free throws to finish with 10 points.

Jones was named MVP of the tournament after shooting a combined 11-of-12 in the two games. Woodson also garnered in All-Tournament Team honors.

Off the bench, sophomore Jake Williams (Akron, Ohio/Akron Ellet) tallied a career-high 11 points. Junior Joe Caspio (Willowick, Ohio/Eastlake North) posted eight points and junior Jeremiah Thomas (Cleveland, Ohio/John Hay) had seven.

The Terriers used an early 6-0 run to break an early 6-6 tie and take a 12-6 lead just five minutes into the game.

Hiram continued to hold the lead and used a 7-0 spurt to increase their lead to 14 at 33-19 with 6:24 left in the first half.

A late trey from senior Austen Rekolt (Salem, Ohio/West Branch) gave Hiram a 49-32 lead at the intermission.

Hiram put the game away early in the second half, scoring nine of the first 12 points to build a 58-35 lead.

Bluffton would be unable to get within 18 points the rest of the game.

The Terriers won the rebounding battle 39-32 and saw their bench dominate Bluffton, holding a 40-12 advantage.

The Hiram defense was also tough all game, limiting the Beavers to 37.7 (23-of-61) in shooting and 13.6 percent (3-of-22) in 3-pointers.

Thayne Recker led Bluffton with a game-high 34 points.

Hiram will play next on Sunday, as they return to NCAC action with a home contest against Wabash (Ind.) at 1 p.m.