By: Andrew Korba
WOOSTER, OHIO -- An old-fashion 3-point by freshman Kaylee Shockley (Uniontown/Lake) with 13 seconds left gave the Hiram College women's basketball team a thrilling 69-68 victory at Wooster on Wednesday evening.
With the win, the Terriers (7-16, 3-11 NCAC) clinch a spot in the NCAC Tournament, which begins on February 24.
The Fighting Scots (1-21, 0-13 NCAC) held a 63-54 lead with 5:53 left. The Terriers would trim the deficit to two points, before two free throws form the Fighting Scots' Lauren Collins made the score 65-61 with 1:25 left.
Hiram would counter with basket on its next possession by freshman Allison Vannoy (Mantua/Crestwood). Vannoy was also fouled on the play, but could not convert her free throw, making the score 65-63 in favor of Wooster.
Vannoy would then steal the ball on the Fighting Scots ensuing possession and senior Kelsey Koskinen (Madison) was fouled behind the 3-point line. Koskinen stepped up and drained all three free throws, putting the Terriers in front 66-65 with 51 seconds left.
Wooster would counter with a 3-pointer to take a 68-66 lead, but Shockley would convert her 3-point play to give the Terriers a 69-68 lead with 13 seconds remaining.
The Fighting Scots would get one last look, but Lauren Hancher's shot was no good to give Hiram the win.
A made layup by senior Taylor Ratliff (Berea/Columbia) capped off a early 7-0 run and allowed the Terriers to open a 16-6 lead.
Koskinen would sink a jumper a few minutes later to give Hiram its largest lead of the game at 20-8 with 10:49 left in the first half.
Wooster would respond with an 8-0 run to trim the Terriers lead to 20-16.
Hiram would push its lead back to 10 points, at 31-21, but Wooster would score the final six points of the half to make the score 31-27 at intermission.
In the second half, a layup by sophomore Kayla Yost (Norwalk/Perkins) put Hiram up 39-31.
But Wooster would chip away and would use back-to-back treys to jump in front 52-49 with 8:34 left in the game.
From there, the Fighting Scots would open up a lead as large as nine points, before Hiram's late charge gave them the win.
Shockley led the Terriers with 15 points and nine rebounds, both of which are new career-highs.
Koskinen added 11 points, three rebounds and two assists, while freshman Mercedes Jones (Dayton/Ponitz Career Technology Center) finished with 10 points.
Hancher paced Wooster with a game-high 21 points, eight rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks.
The Terriers finished 27-of-60 (45.0 percent) from the field and went 8-of-11 (72.7 percent) in free throws, while Wooster was 25-of-69 (36.2 percent) and was a perfect 9-of-9 (100 percent) from the charity stripe.
The Fighting Scots won the rebounding battle 42-37, but Hiram held a 25-10 advantage in bench scoring.
The Terriers will return to action on Saturday, when it travels to take on Oberlin at 1 p.m.