The Hiram College men’s basketball team rallied from a seven-point deficit in the second half, but would lose in overtime to Ohio Wesleyan University, 69-67, in a North Coast Athletic Conference game at Price Gymnasium.
Hiram (1-5, 1-2 NCAC) started the game with a 6-0 scoring run, but Ohio Wesleyan (7-2, 3-1 NCAC) came right back by outscoring the Terriers, 12-2, to take a 12-8 lead at the 13:11 minute mark. The Battling Bishops never trailed in the period again and led by as many as eight points on two occasions, including a 36-28 advantage with 1:38 left in the half. Hiram scored the final points of the half on a three-pointer by senior All-NCAC guard Aaron Stefanov(Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) to narrow the gap to 36-31 at the intermission.
OWU began the second half with a basket to go up by seven points, before another triple by Stefanov sparked an 8-2 run to get the Terriers to within a point, 40-39, with 18:01 to go. Trailing by four points, 46-42, at the 13:45 mark, the Terriers outscored the Bishops, 18-5, over the next 8:54 that ended in a three-pointer by senior guard Josh Edmondson(Euclid/Twinsburg) giving Hiram their largest lead of the game of nine points, 60-51, with 4:51 to play. OWU chipped away at the Hiram lead and eventually tied the game at 62-62 with 1:24 left. Neither team could score the game-winner in the final minute-and-a-half, sending the game into overtime.
In the overtime period, Hiram grabbed the lead on a jumper by sophomore forward Ray Gaston (Warren/John F. Kennedy) making the score 64-62. OWU moved ahead with back-to-back baskets for a two-point advantage, 66-64, before Stefanov’s fourth triple of the game put the Terriers out in front, 67-66, with just over a minute remaining. The Bishops scored on a layup and later added a free-throw to regain control, 69-67, and set up a final possession for Hiram. The Terriers would manage to get a three-point attempt off, but the shot missed its mark and OWU hung on for the 69-67 victory.
OWU shot 41.9 percent (31-of-74) from the field, but just 12.5 percent (three-of-24) from three-point range. The Bishops were led in scoring by Seth Clark with 18 points in addition to grabbing a game-tying high nine rebounds. Matt Jeske was second in scoring with 14 points and Reuel Rogers added 12 points. Rounding out the high scorers was Dre White with 10 points.
Hiram shot 40.3 percent (26-of-62) overall and was led by Stefanov’s 20 points on seven-of-14 shooting (50.0 percent). Edmondson was the only other Terrier in double figures with 12 points and had eight rebounds. In addition, senior forward Chris Zurowski (Medina) grabbed a game-tying high nine boards.
Hiram will travel to New Wilmington, Pa. for a non-conference game on Monday, Dec. 16. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.