BEREA, Ohio - November 15, 2019 – Despite Jalen Kirksey's career-high 27 points, Hiram men's basketball fell to the 22nd-ranked Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets, 81-71, on Friday at Ursprung Gymnasium.
The Terriers got off to a hot start, opening up a four-point lead on Sherman Dean III's jumper with 16:33 left in the first half. Baldwin Wallace answered with a bit of a run, taking a 17-15 lead with 12:40 left in the first, but Hiram quickly tied the game at 20 on DeWarren Bolden's layup.
From there, both teams went scoreless for about a minute stretch before Antonio McQueen broke the seal on the rims with a jumper, putting Hiram up 22-20 with 10:45 left in the first. And behind a 10-2 run, the Terriers surged out to an eight-point, 30-22 lead, forcing the Yellow Jackets to take a timeout.
Baldwin Wallace cut the lead to just four, but Oliver Clingain knocked down a three-pointer with just over four minutes left in the half, extending Hiram's lead to 40-33. However, the Yellow Jackets ended the half on a 9-2 run, taking a 44-42 lead into the locker room.
Kirksey led the Terriers with 17 at the break, while Tyler McMillion tallied seven rebounds. Hiram outrebounds the Yellow Jackets in the first half, 21-11.
Coming out of the locker room, the Yellow Jackets matched Hiram bucket-for-bucket, maintain their one possession lead until Austin Blatt knocked down a three to give Hiram a 50-49 lead with 16:14 remaining.
Less than a minute later, another Blatt three-pointer made it a two-point lead, and after the Yellow Jackets cut it to one, 55-54, Hiram took a timeout.
A 7-0 run out of the timeout though, gave the 22nd-ranked Yellow Jackets a lead they'd never relinquish.
Three times Hiram cut the Yellow Jackets' lead to four. But with the Terriers down 73-69 with 8:47 to play following a Kirksey layup, Baldwin Wallace held Hiram to just two points the rest of the way, pulling away to finish off the 81-71 victory.
Hiram takes its first loss of the year, dropping to 2-1, while the Yellow Jackets move to 2-0 with the victory.
Kirksey led the Terriers with his career-high 27 points, while McMillion notched a career-high 14 rebounds. Blatt added eight points, shooting a perfect 3-for-3 from the field, while Dean III and McQueen each tallied nine.
Hiram shot 46.2 percent from the floor and 40.0 percent from three, but were outshot 10-3 at the free throw line.
The game featured seven ties and 10 lead changes, the last occurring with 14:08 left in the second half.
Hiram will be back in action on Wednesday, Nov. 20 when they open conference play against The College of Wooster Fighting Scots at 7:00 p.m. at Timken Gymnasium as part of the Al Van Wie/Wooster Rotary Classic.