The Hiram College women's basketball team used a complete team effort on Wednesday evening, upending Allegheny College, 77-68, in North Coast Athletic Conference action.
Hiram played unselfish basketball throughout the evening's contest, registering 16 assists on 25 made field goals. Six different players totaled at least six points, while four Terriers tallied double digits in the effort.
The Gators took advantage of solid shooting early, knocking down a trio of threes to jump out to a six-point advantage (13-7).
Hiram would respond over the final five minutes of the opening quarter, using a 17-3 swing to take an eight-point lead (24-16) with 40 seconds left in the frame. After a basket by Amanda Holzman, Tashauna Wright posted eight of Hiram's next 10 points, including a pair of triples to help the Terriers snag the advantage. Josie Earnhardt then added a pair of baskets, including one from deep, to push the lead to eight.
The Terrier's first-half lead would swell to as many as 15 on a layup from Madison Branch that gave Hiram a 35-20 advantage. Overall, following Allegheny's opening run, the Terriers strung together a 28-7 advantage to take a stranglehold on the opening half.
Allegheny would close the second quarter with a brief run of their own, cutting the Hiram lead to 10 at the break (40-30). The Hiram defense was key in the opening 20 minutes, tallying eight steals while forcing 12 Gator turnovers.
Hiram dominated the third quarter in the same way they controlled the first, holding the Gators to just 33% shooting from the field, while extending their advantage.
Allegheny opened the half by trimming the Terrier lead to five (42-37). From there, however, Hiram outscored the Gators 21-7 throughout the remainder of the frame, extending their lead to 63-44. Six players scored for Hiram in the third frame, led by seven points from Earnhardt.
The hosts would make a late push in the fourth quarter, cutting the Hiram advantage to nine (70-61) with 2:20 remaining. The Terriers would respond, however, with Branch pushing the lead back to double-figures on a fast-break layup.
Both Branch and CiCi Bright would convert on a pair of free-throw opportunities in the closing minute and the Terriers would hold for the nine-point victory (77-68).
Continuing to pace the Terrier offense this season, Wright was once again Hiram's leading scorer with 19 points. The sophomore guard also added seven assists to her totals. Three other Terriers joined Wright in double digits including 15 from Branch, 14 by Earnhardt and 10 from Alainna Conroy. Both Erica Johnson and Bright added six, each, while Johnson led the rebounding effort with 13 boards.
Hiram will continue NCAC action on Saturday afternoon, as they kick off a home doubleheader against Oberlin College. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.