The Hiram College men's basketball team dropped a 95-80 decision to #14 Wabash on Saturday afternoon in Price Gymnasium.
Both sides were playing in the second game of a back-to-back as Wabash fell to Allegheny on Friday night, while the Terriers upended DePauw. The win for the Little Giants helped them keep pace at the top of the NCAC leaderboard (12-2). The loss, meanwhile, dropped Hiram to 7-7 in conference play.
The two sides played close through the opening six minutes of action as a three-point basket by Christian Crespo pulled the Terriers within one point (12-11) with 14:16 to play in the half.
Wabash would make the first move of the half with a 10-2 run to open a nine-point lead (22-13) at the 11:46 mark, forcing a Hiram timeout. Little Giants' sophomore, Jack Davidson, tallied seven of Wabash's 10 points in the run. One of the league's top scorers, Davidson finished the night with 37 points.
The Wabash lead would grow to as many as 15 in the first half (32-17) with 9:32 to play in the opening frame.
With five minutes to play in the half, and trailing by 11 (40-29), the Terriers closed the gap with an 11-5 run to end the stanza. Sherman Dean III started the run with a triple, which was followed by buckets by Crespo and Brodgie Gordon. Gordon's jumper pulled the game to 40-36 with 3:04 remaining.
Gordon once again cut the lead to four in the final minute, knocking down a triple of his own to make the score 43-39 in favor of the guests. He finished the first half with a team-high 12.
Following a free-throw by Rice, the Terriers found themselves on the wrong end of a 14-1 run that spanned the final minute of the first half and the first four of the second. When the dust settled, the Little Giants held a 16-point lead (57-41).
The Wabash lead would swell to as many as 18 in the second half, with Hiram managing to cut the advantage to single digits just once. A jumper by Jalen Kirksey whittled the Wabash lead to 74-65 with eight minutes to play, but the Terriers would get no closer, falling by double digits.
The guards for the Little Giants played a key factor in the game, as the backcourt, including Davidson, Kellen Schreiber and reserve player Tyler Watson, combined for 72 of the Wabash's 95 points.
The Little Giants knocked down 54 percent of their shots, including 11 from beyond the arc, and outrebounded the Terriers 37-29.
Five different players tallied double-digit scoring for the Terriers, including a team-high 19 by Dean. Gordon added 18, while Marcel Rice finished with 15. Kirksey and Crespo each added 10, while Antonio McQueen finished with eight points and six rebounds off the bench.
Hiram will return to the hardwood on Wednesday evening as they travel to Gambier to take on Kenyon College. The matchup with the Lords is scheduled for 7 p.m.