CLEVELAND, OHIO — The Hiram College men’s basketball team was picked to finish fifth and the women eighth in the 2010-11 North Coast Athletic Conference preseason coaches polls that were released today (Thursday, Nov. 4).
The Terrier men totaled 48 points to place fifth of nine teams. Six-time defending NCAC Champion The College of Wooster was picked to repeat as champion with 80 points and eight-of-nine first place votes. Wittenberg University was picked second with 70 points and one first-place vote and Ohio Wesleyan University rounded out the top three with 56 points.
Hiram ended last season with a 12-13 overall record and 9-7 in the NCAC. The Terriers qualified for the NCAC Tournament for the fourth consecutive season last winter and were the sixth seed a year ago. Hiram will be led again this season by senior two-time All-NCAC guard Chris Roberts (Cleveland/John F. Kennedy). Roberts led the team and was 10th overall in the conference in scoring in 2009-10 at 14.2 points per game. He was also amongst the team leaders in field goal percentage (41.9 percent), free-throw percentage (72.2 percent), assists (55) and steals (29). Roberts also needs 78 points this season to become the 22nd player in school history to score 1,000 points.
Hiram opens its season on Monday, Nov. 15 in the home opener against non-conference opponent the University of Mount Union at Price Gymnasium.
The Hiram women had 14 points to place eighth overall of eight teams. Defending NCAC Tournament Champion Denison University was picked as the favorite with 58 points and four-of-eight first-place votes. Ohio Wesleyan was a close second with 56 points and two first-place votes. Wittenberg rounded out the top three with 46 points and one first-place vote. Kenyon College received the remaining first-place vote and was fourth in the balloting with 45 points.
The Hiram College women’s basketball team will feature a very young team in 2010-11 with only three upperclassmen returning and one starter from last season’s roster.
Back to lead the Terriers this season will be senior guard Jess Cowan (Hiram/Crestwood). Last season, she played in 24 games and was third on the team in scoring with a 5.9 points per game average. She was also amongst the team leaders in shooting percentage (33.8 percent) and assists (29). Joining Cowan will be a pair of juniors in Kelsey Durichko (Brunswick) and Tiffany Shields (Bedford Heights/Bedford). Durichko was the team’s starting point guard and led the team in assists with 73 and steals at 33. Shields played in all but one game last season coming off the bench and averaged 4.0 ppg. In addition, look for sophomores Chelsea Kovach (Lakewood), Amy Geisman (Middleburg Heights/Midpark), Calysia Smyers (Akron/Coventry), Emily Smerchansky (Girard) and Breanna Host (Seven Hills/Normandy) to make an impact for the Terriers this season.
Hiram will begin its season on Saturday, Nov. 27 against Westminster College in a non-conference game in New Wilmington, Pa.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, please contact Hiram College Sports Information Director Jeff Hoedt by phone at (330) 569-5495 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.