Behind a balanced scoring attack and a dominant rebounding performance, the Hiram College men’s basketball team celebrated Senior Night with a 72-67 victory over Denison on Wednesday.
The Terriers improve to 10-14 and 4-13 in the NCAC, while the Big Red drop to 13-11, 7-10.
Hiram saw five players score at least eight points, led by junior J.J. Woodson (Cleveland/Bedford) and sophomore Jeremiah Thomas (Cleveland/John Hay), who finished with 13 points apiece. Woodson also tied his career-high with eight rebounds.
In his final home game, senior Josh Edmondson (Euclid/Twinsburg) finished with eight points and recorded a season-high nine rebounds.
In all, Hiram outrebounded Denison 44-24, including a 15-7 margin on the offensive glass.
Trailing 61-58 with 4:13 left, the Terriers would reel off six consecutive points, capped off by a layup from Jones, to jump in front 64-61 with 1:48 left to play.
After a Denison basket, Gaston connected on a layup to push Hiram’s lead back to 66-63 with 1:18 remaining.
The Big Red would respond with an old-fashion three-point play to tie the score at 66-66, but Jones converted a layup on the Terriers next possession, giving Hiram the lead back at 68-66
Hiram would get a defensive stop, but would turn the ball over on the ensuing inbound. Denison would draw a foul, but would convert only one free throw.
Sophomore Joe Zoltowski (Erie, Pa./Harbor Creek)wass then fouled and knocked down a pair of free throws to make the score 70-67 in favor of Hiram with 11 seconds left.
A desperation 3-pointer by the Big Red was off and Woodson pulled down the rebound and was fouled. He sunk a pair of free throws to put the game away.
The Big Red jumped out to an early 22-11 lead, but Hiram responded with a 12-0 run to take its first lead of the contest at 23-22, with 7:35 left in the first half.
The Terriers would expand their lead to 35-31 at intermission.
Hiram finished the game 29-of-60 (48.3 percent) from the field and were 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) from the line. Denison was 24-of-58 (41.4 percent) in shooting and 10-of-13 (76.9 percent) from the charity stripe.
The Terriers held a 42-26 edge in points in the paint and also saw their bench outscore Denison’s 24-13.
Hiram will close out the season on Saturday, with a road game at Wittenberg that is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.