Junior guard/forward Alexis Kemper (Centerville) scored a team-high 17 points as the Hiram College women’s basketball team held off Bethany (W.Va.) College, 64-61, in a non-conference game in Bethany, W.Va.
Bethany (4-7 overall) led by as many as four points, 10-6, in the early minutes of the first half. But an ensuing 10-0 scoring run by Hiram (5-5 overall) that included a pair of three-pointers by senior guard Calysia Smyers (Akron/Coventry), gave the Terriers the lead, 16-10, at the 10:59 minute mark. The Bison rallied with five straight points of their own, but would not overtake Hiram as a late 12-2 run by the Terriers resulted in an 11-point lead, 32-21, with 3:01 left in the period. Once again, the Bison would fight their way back into the game, ending the half with a 10-2 run to cut the deficit to three points, 34-31, at the intermission.
In the second half, the two teams combined for five ties and two lead changes. Hiram led by as many as six points on several occassions and had a five-point margin, 61-56, late in the game following a layup by junior guard Marisa Thomas (Lorain/Amherst) with 3:27 left to play. Bethany narrowed the gap to a single point on back-to-back layups after the Thomas bucket. Kemper then connected on a critical basket on Hiram’s ensuing possession to put the Terriers up by three points, 63-60, at the 2:36 mark. The team offenses then went cold in the final 2:36 as the only points recorded by both teams were single free-throws, including one by junior guard Kelsey Koskinen (Madison) to seal the game with one second remaining and gave Hiram the 64-61 victory.
Bethany shot 48.1 percent (25-of-52) from the floor and was led by Kayla Taormina with a game-high 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting (78.6 percent). One other Bison player scored in double-figures in Taylor Verrico with 10 points.
Hiram shot 49.1 percent (26-of-53) as a team led by Kemper’s 17 points on seven-of-10 shooting (70.0 percent). Two others scored in double-digits with Smyers finishing the game with 13 points and junior guard Danielle Day (Newbury) adding 10 points. Day and sophomore forward Samantha Morford (Jefferson) both grabbed a game-tying high six rebounds.
Hiram will be idle until Saturday, Dec. 29 when the Terriers host Marietta College in a non-conference game at Price Gymnasium. The game is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.