By: Andrew Korba
GRANVILLE, Ohio -- The Hiram College men's basketball team suffered a NCAC road setback at Denison on Wednesday evening by a 86-77 score.
The Terriers fall to 17-7 and 11-6 in NCAC play, while the Big Red improve to 14-10, 9-8.
Sophomore Paul Ortiz (Canton, Ohio/McKinley Senior) paced Hiram with a team-high 19 points, going 9-of-16 from the field.
Sophomore Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, Brookside) posted his second straight double-double with 18 points and 17 rebounds. His 17 rebounds are a new career-high.
Senior J.J. Woodson (Oakwood Village, Ohio/Bedford) added 17 points and three assists.
A Ortiz layup with 7:11 remaining in the contest gave the Terriers a 71-64 edge.
From that point forward, it was all Denison, as the Big Red closed the game on a 22-6 run for the nine-point victory.
The Terriers were able to jump out to a 10-4 lead early on, but Denison would slowly chip away and tied the game at 22-22.
Hiram would open up a five point lead two more times in the first half and took a 41-38 lead into the break.
In the second half, the Terriers scored seven of the first nine points to build a 48-40 advantage.
Denison would battle back with the next seven points to pull within 48-47 with 15:35 left to play.
The Terriers would have another answer and built up a 58-51 lead with just over 13 minutes remaining.
The Big Red would respond and pulled within 63-61 at the 9:41 mark. From there, Hiram was able to open a its seven point lead, before Denison's strong play down stretch allowed them to grab the win.
Both teams shot the ball well, with the Terriers finishing 34-of-68 (50.0 percent) and Denison going 31-of-58 (53.4 percent). The Big Red held an advantage in 3-point shooting, going 10-of-23 (43.5 percent), compared to Hiram's 3-of-18 (16.7 percent).
The Terriers dominated the rebounding battle, owning a 40-24 edge, including a 16-5 advantage on the offensive glass. Hiram also outscored Denison 60-34 in the paint.
The Terriers will close out the regular season on Saturday at 4 p.m. with a home contest against Wittenberg. Hiram will also honor its seniors in a ceremony before tipoff.