Despite only trailing by 10 points at halftime to Division I Youngstown State University, the Hiram College men’s basketball team was outscored, 40-23, in the final 20 minutes resulting in a 71-44 loss to the Penguins in a non-conference game in Youngstown.
YSU (6-4 overall) jumped out early, outscoring Hiram (1-4 overall) 15-2 in the first 5:18 to take the early sizeable lead. The Terrier offensive struggles continued, but would rally late to pull to within eight points, 29-21, following a three-point basket by sophomore guard Josh Edmondson (Euclid/Twinsburg) at the 1:38 minute mark. The successful triple would be the final points scored by Hiram in the half as YSU added a pair of free-throws down the stretch to increase the lead back to double-figures, 31-21, at the break.
The second half would be all YSU as the Penguins shot just over 53 percent from the floor and began the period on an 8-2 scoring run to increase the margin to 16 points, 39-23, with 17:15 left in the game. YSU continued to pull away with a series of scoring runs and recorded its largest lead of the game of 28 points on multiple occassions with the last one coming with 1:09 remaining in the game, 71-43, en route to the 71-44 final.
YSU shot 42.4 percent (25-of-59) from the floor and had three players score in double-figures led by Damian Eargle with a game-high 20 points on six-of-eight shooting (75.0 percent), including seven-of-nine (77.8 percent) at the free-throw line. In addition, he also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Kendrick Perry and Shawn Amiker rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points each.
Hiram finished the game shooting 26.2 percent (16-of-61) from the floor and was led in scoring by the duo of junior guard Aaron Stefanov (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) and Edmondson with eight points each. Stefanov and senior forward Justin Lonis (Mentor/Perrysburg) were the team’s leading rebounders with seven boards apiece.
Hiram will begin a three-game homestand beginning with a non-conference game against Waynesburg (Pa.) College next Saturday, Dec. 15 at Price Gymnasium. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.