Senior guard Alan Sheppard (Wadsworth) scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Hiram College men’s basketball team in a 79-69 win against Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) College in a non-conference game at Price Gymnasium.
Both teams played a competitive first half with six ties and 15 lead changes. W&J had a slim four-point margin, 9-5, in the early minutes, but Hiram went on a 7-2 scoring run that ended in a three-pointer by sophomore guard Matt Roman (North Olmsted) to give the Terriers a 12-11 lead at the 14:36 mark. The Presidents’ later regained control and led by as many as six points, 26-20, following a pair of free-throws with 8:34 left in the period. Senior forward Steve Zivoder (Garrettsville/Garfield) followed up the free-throws with a jumper that sparked a 9-2 run to swing momentum back in favor of Hiram with a 29-28 advantage at the 5:47 mark. The two teams traded leads three more times in the final minutes of the half, but it would be the Terriers who went to the locker rooms with a lead, 38-36, after the first 20 minutes.
Hiram shot 50.0 percent (16-of-32) from the floor in the second half and quickly jumped out to a sizeable lead right from the start thanks to a 7-2 run that put the Terriers up by seven points, 45-38, following a jumper by Sheppard with 17:34 left to play. W&J battled back to within four points, 50-46, with 11:27 to go, but that would be as close as the Presidents’ would get the rest of the way as Hiram began to pull away. The Terriers recorded their first double-digit lead with 8:21 to go on a bucket by Zivoder to make the score 62-52. Hiram went to lead by as many as 13 points late in the half en route to the 79-69 win.
W&J shot 44.3 percent (27-of-61) from the floor and was led by Doug Johnson with 13 points on four-of-eight shooting (50.0 percent). Ben Cecchini was second in scoring with 11 points and Zach Bellhy and Mike Resnik each added 10 points. In addition, Nate Bellhy grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
Hiram ended up shooting 45.3 percent (29-of-64) for the game and was led by Sheppard with 19 points on six-of-15 shooting (40.0 percent). Zivoder rounded out the high scorers with 14 points.
The Terriers will wrap-up their three-game homestand on Wednesday, Dec. 19 when they host Westminster (Pa.) College at Price Gym. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.