HIRAM, Ohio – Led by the efforts of senior guard Terrence Warren, the Hiram College men's basketball team held off a late surge by Oberlin College, defeating the Yeomen 69-68 in Price Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
The Terriers made Oberlin work for every basket in the opening half, holding the Yeomen to just seven points over the first nine minutes of the contest. A steal and fast-break layup by Warren with 11:12 to play in the half, pushed the Hiram lead to 15-7.
Oberlin would respond by cutting the advantage to three (15-12), before the Terriers made their biggest push of the night. Over the next three minutes, the hosts outscored Oberlin 12-2 to balloon the advantage to 13 (27-14). Freshman Jalen Kirksey contributed six points to the run, which was capped by a basket from Marcel Rice.
Making his first start of the season, Rice came out of the gate strong, posting nine points and nine rebounds in the opening 20 minutes.
Leading by nine points at the break (37-28), the Terriers needed a herculean effort from Warren to keep the hard-charging Yeomen at bay in the second half.
Isaiah Matthews opened the second stanza with a three-point basket to extend the lead to 12 (40-28), which would prove to be the high-water mark of the remainder of the game.
In less than seven minutes, the cushion was gone, and the Terriers were holding on to a two-point advantage (49-47) following an 8-0 Yeomen run.
Following a layup from Brevin Dye, Warren posted five-straight points, including an "old-fashioned" three-point play, to push the lead back to eight (56-48).
Still leading by six with 2:38 remaining following a pair of free throws by Warren, Oberlin used a 7-0 run to snag their first lead of the night. A jumper by Eli-Silverman Lloyd put the Yeomen up one (68-67) with 42 seconds to play.
On the Terriers' next possession, Kirksey was fouled on a layup attempt, and converted on both free throws to push the advantage back in Hiram's favor.
Oberlin would have three possessions in the final 25 seconds, but the Terrier defense stood strong, forcing a turnover and a pair of missed three-point attempts, to secure the win, 69-68.
Warren helped carried the offensive work load in the second half, scoring half of Hiram's 32 points in the stanza. The senior guard tallied 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including a trio of triples.
Warren finished the afternoon with 20 points and four assists while shooting 50% from the field.
Rice tallied his first double-double of the season, collecting 12 rebounds to go along with 11 points. His rebound total helped the Terriers hold a 39-29 advantage on the glass, which included 15 offensive boards.
Continuing to play well in a reserve role, sophomore Brevin Dye added 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Matthews and Kirksey also played into the offensive game plan, finishing with eight, each.
Hiram, who now sits at 7-3 in the North Coast Athletic Conference standings, will be back in action on Wednesday, Jan. 24, as they play host to The College of Wooster. The matchup with the Fighting Scots is scheduled for 7 p.m.