Jan.10- DELAWARE, Ohio- Led by a team-high 21 points from Kelvin Jones, the Hiram College men's basketball team posted an 88-79 victory over #17 Ohio Wesleyan, Wednesday night.
The win improves the Terriers record to 5-2 in conference play (9-5 overall), tying Wooster and The Battling Bishops for second in conference standings.
The Terriers outscored Ohio Wesleyan 44-20 in the paint and forced 15 turnovers. Five Terriers finished in double-digits with Jones leading the pack with 14 rebounds and two assists.
Fellow senior Paul Ortiz added an additional 13 points, two rebounds, a pair of assists, and a steal. Other offensive leaders for the Terriers included freshman Jalen Kirksey with 12 points, three rebounds, five steals, and a block, and Terrence Warren with 11 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Sophomore Austin Blatt shined from the reserves with a career-high 12 points, five rebounds, four steals, an assist, and a block.
Warren opened the scoring by knocking down a basket in the opening minute of the game. From there, the Terriers and Battling Bishops went toe-to-toe, until Ohio Wesleyan pulled away with a little over 12 minutes to go in the first half, going on a 10 point run (25-12).
Down by 13 with only 10:46 left in the half the Terriers started to fall into a better offensive rhythm with Jones picking up 14 of his 21 points and the Terriers cutting the Ohio Wesleyan lead down to five going into halftime (42-47).
Despite cutting the lead closer in the early stages of the second half, the Terriers were held at bay, unable to retake the lead from the Bishops through the first six minutes of the second frame.
Ohio Wesleyan pushed the lead back to five, before a 6-0 Terrier run gave Hiram their first lead since the 15-minute mark of the opening stanza.
Trailing by five, Hiram forced Bishop turnovers on three-straight possessions, including a steal and score by Blatt. Following a pair of Ortiz free-throws, Sherman Dean III gave the Terriers the lead with a steal and bucket of his own.
Overall, the Terriers would put together an 11-1 run, which also included another jumper from Dean, and a three-point basket by Brevin Dye, to push the advantage to five (61-56) with 11:28 to play.
From there, the lead would change hands 10 more times, with OWU holding a 79-78 advantage with 1:58 to play.
The final two minutes would belong to the Terriers, as Hiram scored the final ten points of the game to walk away with the win.
After taking the lead on a layup by Jones, Blatt added a pair of points, before the Terriers picked up a stop on defense. Following the stop, Kirksey pushed the lead to five. Blatt then came away with the final of his four steals, leading to a pair of free throws from Isaiah Matthews.
Kirksey then put the exclamation point on the victory, getting a defensive rebound off a three-point miss and going coast-to-coast for the fast-break dunk.
The Hiram reserves played a vital role in the Terriers second half, scoring 21 points, led by 12 from Blatt. The sophomore shot 4-of-6 from the field in 14 minutes in the frame, while collecting three of his four steals.
Hiram will be back on the court Saturday, January 13 at 2 pm as they take on the Lords of Kenyon College in Price Gymnasium.