GREENVILLE, PA. -- Sophomore forward Samantha Morford (Jefferson) recorded her second double-double in as many days to lead the Hiram College women's basketball team past Thiel (Pa.) College, 62-57, in a non-conference game in Greenville, Pa.
Thiel (1-4 overall) jumped out to an early 6-2 lead, but a layup by junior guard Marisa Thomas (Lorain/Amherst) sparked a 7-0 scoring run to to give Hiram (3-1 overall) a 9-6 advantage at the 12:30 minute mark of the first half. The Tomcats came right back with an ensuing 9-2 run of their own to regain control, 15-11. The game remained close the rest of the period with neither team leading by more than six points which would come at the 1:43 mark on one-of-two free-throws by Morford to give Hiram a 30-24 lead. Thiel scored the final points of the half, but would trail Hiram, 30-27, at the break.
In the second half, Thiel took over the lead with 14:52 remaining and built its lead to as many as nine points, 47-38, with 8:57 left in the game. Hiram then rallied scoring nine unanswered points capped by a layup by senior forward Brenna Host (Seven Hills/Normandy) evening the score at 47-47. Both teams battled to another tie, 55-55, with a little more than a minute remaining following a pair of free-throws by Morford. Thiel turned the ball over to Hiram on its ensuing possession which led to a critical three-point basket by junior guard Alexis Kemper (Centerville) that gave the Terriers a 58-55 margin with 39 seconds left. Following a Tomcat bucket to cut the deficit to a point, Hiram connected on four free-throws down the stretch to maintain a lead and capture the 62-57 victory.
Thiel shot 42.6 percent (23-of-54) from the floor and had three players score in double figures led by Kelly Barzak with a game-high 20 points on eight-of-15 shooting (53.3 percent). Riian McCray was second with 15 points and Jaclyn Watkins added 14 points. McCray also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
Hiram shot 34.8 percent (24-of-69) from the field and was led by Morford with 18 points on six-of-14 shooting (42.9 percent) to go along with 11 boards for her second consecutive double-double. Kemper was the only other Terrier to score in double-digits with 16 points.
Hiram will continue its season-opening road trip when it travels to Pittsburgh, Pa. for a non-conference matchup against Carnegie Mellon University on Wednesday, Nov. 28. The game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.