The Hiram College women’s basketball team overcame an eight-point deficit in the first half to beat Westminster (Pa.) College, 53-50, in a non-conference game in New Wilmington, Pa.
Hiram (2-1 overall) never trailed by more than five points in the first 10 minutes of the opening half, but a 9-3 scoring run by Westminster (1-2 overall) at the midway point of the period, gave the Titans their largest lead of the game of eight points, 24-16, with 4:29 left before halftime. The deficit remained eight points with just under three minutes to go when a layup by sophomore forward Samantha Morford (Jefferson) sparked a mini 4-0 run to end the half and put the Terriers within striking distance, 26-22, at the break.
In the second half, Westminster tallied the first points of the period to go up by six, 28-22, but Hiram responded with an ensuing 14-2 run that ended in a three-pointer by senior guard Calysia Smyers (Akron/Coventry) to give the Terriers a six-point advantage, 36-30, with 13:48 left in the game. Hiram never trailed in the game again despite the game being tied at 38-38 at the 10:46 mark. The Terriers quickly regained control with a 9-2 run that was capped by another triple by Smyers for their largest lead of the game of seven points, 47-40, with 4:05 left. Westminster made things interesting down the stretch, battling back to within a basket on two occassions in the final 17 seconds. Hiram senior guard Chelsea Kovach (Lakewood) made four-of-six free-throw attempts in the final minute and a failed three-pointer by Westminster as time expired that would have tied the game, allowed the Terriers to hold on for the 53-50 victory.
Westminster was led in scoring by Katie Hughes with 14 points on five-of-seven shooting (71.4 percent). One other Titan scored in double-figures in Danille Gilmore with 11 points. In addition, Andi Ridge grabbed a game-tying high 10 rebounds.
Hiram was led by Morford who recorded her first double-double of the season with a game-high 16 points on a perfect eight-of-eight shooting, to go along with a game-tying high 10 boards. Two other Terriers finished in double-digits in scoring with Smyers and Kovach each recording 13 points.
Hiram returns to action tomorrow (Sunday, Nov. 25) when the Terriers travel to Greenville, Pa. for a non-conference matchup against Thiel College. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.