The Hiram College women’s basketball team fell on the losing end of a 66-61 decision against Wittenberg University in a North Coast Athletic Conference game in Springfield.
Hiram (5-8, 0-4 NCAC) jumped out early scoring the game’s first five points, but Wittenberg (6-6, 2-1 NCAC) hung around and eventually took the lead with a 10-0 scoring run that put the Tigers up, 18-12, at the 13:04 minute mark. Wittenberg never trailed the rest of the half and led by as many as 10 points, 30-20, with 5:12 left before halftime. The Terriers outscored the Tigers, 8-4, to end the period and narrowed the gap to six points, 34-28, at the intermission.
Wittenberg quickly regained its 10-point margin by scoring the first four points of the second half to lead 38-28 with 17:05 left to play. Hiram then rallied with a 15-5 run to even the score at 43-43 following a three-pointer by junior guard Danielle Day (Newbury) nearing the midway point of the period. Hiram would later move ahead on the scoreboard with a slim 53-51 advantage following a pair of free-throws by freshman forward Christy Griffin (Middlefield/Cardinal) with 6:17 left to play. But Wittenberg battled back to tie the game and eventually regained the lead, including having a 64-60 margin with 36 seconds left. The Terriers’ only points in the final seconds came on a free-throw by junior guard forward Alexis Kemper (Centerville) as the Tigers would tack on two free-throws down the stretch to seal the 66-61 victory.
Wittenberg shot 40.7 percent (22-of-54) from the field and was led in scoring by Amber Rice with a game-high 21 points on seven-of-11 shooting (63.6 percent). Enri Small was the other Tiger player to score in double-figures with 20 points in addition to grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds.
Hiram shot 43.8 percent (21-of-48) from the field and was paced by senior guard Calysia Smyers(Akron/Coventry) with 13 points while shooting three-of-eight (37.5 percent). Kemper was the only other Terrier in double-digits with 12 points.
The competition for the Terriers won’t get any easier when they travel to Greencastle, Ind. to take on the top Division III team in the country in DePauw University tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 5). The game will be part of a basketball doubleheader with the Hiram men’s team. The women will tip-off against the Tigers at 1 p.m., followed by the men at 3 p.m.