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Slow Start Costs Men's Basketball Against #10 Denison

Slow Start Costs Men's Basketball Against #10 Denison

Jan. 18 – HIRAM, Ohio – The Hiram College men's basketball team dropped their sixth single-digit North Coast Athletic Conference decision on Wednesday evening, falling 83-77 to #10 Denison University.

The Big Red came into tonight's game riding a six-game winning streak and ranked 10th in this week Top-25 Coaches' Poll.

The difference in the game came in the first half, as the Terriers were outscored 46-28. The visitors, who improved to 9-0 in conference play, used the first eight minutes of the game to run out to a 12-point advantage (23-11).

Hiram would climb back into the game over the next four minutes, using a 9-2 swing to cut the lead to five with 8:21 to play in the half. Five-straight points by Joe Caspio, which included one of his three dunks on the night, provided the spark for the run that cut the lead to 25-20.

Denison would respond with a five-minute burst, outscoring the Terriers 18-4 to take a commanding, 19-point advantage with 3:08 to play (43-24). Hiram would spend the rest of the game chipping away at the lead.

The Big Red bench played a vital role in the first half advantage, scoring 27 points. Claude Chandonnet posted 17 on 6-of-7 shooting in just eight minutes.

The Terriers were held at bay for a majority of the second half, but used a late-stage rally to cut the score to as close as five points.

Still trailing by 14 with under one minute to play, the Terriers applied some pressure, forcing a pair of turnovers and getting six points from Jeremiah Thomas, as well as three-point baskets from Paul Ortiz and Sherman Dean III to dwindle the deficit to 80-75. Hiram would get no closer, however, falling by single digits for the eighth time this season.

Ortiz paced the Terrier offensive effort with 24 points, including 20 in the second half. The junior finished 9-of-15 from the field, including 4-of-8 from deep. Caspio was the other Terrier to crack double figures, posting 17 points and nine rebounds. Kelvin Jones also added nine boards, while posting nine points.

Hiram will be back in action on Saturday, January 21, as they travel to Oberlin to take on the Yeomen. The matchup is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.

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