AURORA, N.Y. - November 9, 2019 – Behind Jalen Kirksey's career-high 25 points, Hiram Terriers men's basketball defeated the Wells College Express in its season opener, 71-67 on Saturday at the Farentold Athletic Wing.
After Kirksey scored the first points of the season for the Terriers on a dunk, the Express led for much of the early portion of the first half. Down 15-10, Hiram knotted the score up at 15 and again at 18 and 20, before Wells again pulled ahead.
The Express took a five-point, 32-27, lead on Jalen Tribble's jumper, before Hiram closed the half on a 11-2 run. Kirksey's and-one cut the lead to two, before a three-pointer from Sherman Dean III tied the score at 33.
Hiram held Wells to just one point the rest of the half, as Dean, Kirksey and Austin Blatt combined for five points down the stretch to give the Terriers a 38-34 halftime lead.
The Terriers wouldn't trail the rest of the way, leading by as many as 10 midway through the second half. Up by four with 15:10 to play, Hiram outscored the Express by six over the next four minutes, using an 8-2 run to take a 54-44 lead on Kirksey's layup with 11:38 to play.
Wells would make a run over the final few minutes, cutting Hiram's lead to just four with 2:34 to play and just two with 34 seconds remaining. However, the Terriers played tight defense, and Kirksey knocked down to crucial free throws to ice the game in the waning seconds to give the Terriers a 71-67 victory.
With the win, Hiram moves to 1-0, while Wells falls to 0-1.
Kirksey led the Terriers with his third-career double-double, tallying a career-high 25 points and 10 rebounds. Dean III added nine points and Oliver Clingain notched eight, while Tyler McMillion fell two points shy of a double-double with eight points and 12 rebounds.
As a team, the Terriers shot 44.6 percent from the floor while holding Wells College to just 38.5 percent shooting. Hiram also outrebounded the Express, 49-31.
The Terriers will be back in action on Sunday, Nov. 10 when they wrap up the Wells College Finger Lakes Classic Tournament against Keuka College at 1:00 p.m. at the Farentold Athletic Wing in Aurora, N.Y.