Senior All-North Coast Athletic Conference guard Aaron Stefanov(Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) scored a game-high 40 points, but it would not enough as the Hiram College men’s basketball team fell to DePauw (Ind) University, 90-89, in double overtime in a NCAC matchup at Price Gymnasium. Stefanov’s 40 points marks the second game this season he has tallied at least 40 points.
Hiram (3-9, 1-4 NCAC) lead for the majority of the first half despite six lead changes and two ties. The Terriers lead by as many as six points on numerous occasions with the last one being a 41-35 advantage at the 1:05 mark following a jumper by senior forward Justin Lonis(Mentor/ Perrysburg). DePauw (9-3, 4-1 NCAC) scored the final points of the period, but Hiram would still lead going into halftime, 41-37.
Five minutes into the second half, DePauw took the lead on a 6-0 scoring run making the score 57-53. Hiram would come back with four straight points to tie the game at 57-57 on a basket by Stefanov with 11:56 to play. Both teams battled back-and-fourth the rest of the way with Hiram having a one-point edge, 74-73 with 3:04 to go thanks to a bucket by senior guard Josh Edmondson (Euclid/ Twinsburg). The two teams were held scoreless over the next 3:01 until a DePauw player was fouled with three seconds remaining allowing the Tigers to take the lead. But DePauw would only convert one of the attempts tying the game for the ninth time at 74-74. Hiram got the rebound off the missed free-throw, but the possesion ended in a turnover with time remaining setting up a final shot attempt by the Tigers. DePauw would get a shot off but it would miss its mark sending the game into overtime.
In the first overtime, the two teams combined for 16 points but neither would score the game winner, resulting in an 82-82 tie and forcing a second overtime period. Hiram would lead by two points in the second overtime, 89-87, following a layup by Stefanov at the 2:39 mark. The Tigers would take the lead on a triple with just over two minutes to go making the score 90-89. Neither team scored any points in the final minutes despite two shot attempts by Hiram as DePauw hung on for the one-point victory.
DePauw shot 47.9 percent (34-of-71) from the floor, including 43.5 percent (10-of-23) from three point range. The Tigers were led in scoring by Pat Haggin with 26 points. Tommy Fernitz was second with 19 points in addition to grabbing 15 rebounds to complete the double-double. Rounding out the high scorers was Bob Dillon with 10 points.
Hiram shot 57.8 percent (37-of-64) from the field, as was led by Stefanov’s 40 points on 16-of-22 shooting (72.7 percent). The Terriers had one other player in double figures in senior forward Chris Zurowski (Medina) with 10 points.
The next time the Terriers take the court will be on Saturday, Jan 11 against Wittenberg University in a NCAC game in Springfield. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.