The Hiram College men’s basketball team lost to Kenyon College, 76-68, in a North Coast Athletic Conference game at Tomsich Arena in Gambier.
Hiram (10-9, 4-6 NCAC) got off to a fast start outscoring Kenyon (10-9, 4-6 NCAC), 8-2, in the first 2:05 of the first half. The Lords answered back with a 13-0 scoring run to take the lead and go up by seven points, 15-8, at the 12:12 minute mark. The Terriers then went on a 9-2 run of their own that ended in a three-pointer by junior guard Aaron Stefanov (Stow/Stow-Munore Falls) to even the score at 17-17 with 10:32 left in the half. Hiram eventually regained the lead following another triple by Stefanov and led by as many as five points in the final minutes of the period, but would only have a two-point edge, 32-30, at the break.
The two teams traded leads in the opening minutes of the second half. Kenyon took the lead for good with 16:02 left in the game despite Hiram getting to within a point on numerous occasions, including a 62-61 deficit with 5:24 to go. But a three-pointer on the Lords’ ensuing possession extended the margin to four points and solid free-throw shooting down the stretch allowed Kenyon to record its largest lead of the game of 11 points, 76-65, en route to the 76-68 overall victory.
The Lords shot 40.0 percent (24-of-60) from the floor and were led by Ikenna Nwadibia with a game-high 18 points on five-of-10 (50.0 percent) shooting, including going eight-of-nine (88.9 percent) at the free-throw line. Kenyon had two other players in double-digits with Julian Pavlin scoring 15 points and Brian Lebowitz adding 14 points.
Hiram shot 44.3 percent (27-of-61) for the game, but would only convert six-of-13 free-throws (46.2 percent). The Terriers were led in scoring by senior guard Alan Sheppard (Wadsworth) with 16 points on six-of-14 shooting (42.9 percent). Stefanov was second in scoring with 15 points and senior forward Steve Zivoder (Garrettsville/Garfield) rounded out the high scorers with 13 points in addition to grabbing a team-high eight rebounds.
Hiram will host Denison University on Saturday, Feb. 2 in a NCAC game at Price Gymnasium. The game will be part of a basketball doubleheader with the Terrier women’s team. The Hiram women will face No. 1 nationally-ranked DePauw (Ind.) University at 2 p.m., followed by the men against Denison at 4 p.m.