The Hiram College men’s basketball team lost a 72-50 decision today (Saturday, Feb. 18) in the North Coast Athletic Conference and regular-season finale in Springfield. [Game Stats]
With the loss, the Terriers end the regular season with a 14-11 overall record and 7-9 in the NCAC. The Tigers improve to 20-5 overall and 14-2 NCAC.
Hiram never led in the first half, but stayed within striking distance for the majority of the opening period. A late 7-0 scoring run by Wittenberg, gave the Tigers some breathing room with a 10-point advantage, 29-19, at the 4:59 minute mark. Wittenberg later led by as many as 13 points, 34-21, with 2:11 left to play before halftime, but Hiram scored the final four points of the half on a three-pointer and a successful free-throw by sophomore Aaron Stefanov (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) to cut the deficit to 34-25 at the intermission.
The Tigers opened the second half with a triple to go up by 10 points. Hiram answered with a mini 5-0 run to narrow the gap in half, 37-32, with 16:35 left to go. Wittenberg responded with an ensuing 6-0 run of its own to regain a double-figure lead, 43-32, at the 13:56 mark. The Tigers finally took control of the game with a series of scoring runs and led by as many as 25 points en route to the 72-50 final.
Wittenberg shot 40.0 percent (26-of-65) from the floor for the game and was led by the duo of Alex Brandt and Scott Masin with 12 points each.
Hiram finished the game shooting 39.2 percent (20-of-51) overall and had two players score in double-digits. Stefanov ended the game with a game-high 13 points on five-of-10 shooting (50.0 percent). Senior guard Andrew Wiegand (Amherst/Firelands) was the other Terrier in double-figures with 10 points to go along with a game-high eight rebounds.
Hiram will be the number six seed in this year’s NCAC Tournament. The Terriers will travel to Delaware to take on third-seeded Ohio Wesleyan University on Tuesday, Feb. 21. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.