Junior Ray Gaston (Warren/John F. Kennedy) and sophomore Kyle Deckerd (Louisville/Canton South) each scored a career-high 19 points to lead the Hiram College men’s basketball team past Otterbein 87-83 on Tuesday night.
The Terriers improve to 2-0 on the season, while Otterbein drops to 0-1.
Gaston finished the game a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, while grabbing five rebounds. Deckerd hit five 3-pointers and went 4-of-4 in free throws, while pulling down three rebounds and dishing out three assists.
Chase Moyer led four Cardinals in double figure scoring with 17.
“We are still growing and maturing as a team,” said head coach Chris Kibler. “We were able to put some issues behind us tonight and still get a win.”
Deckerd drained three consecutive 3-pointers to begin the contest, allowing the Terriers to take a early 9-2 lead.
Otterbein would battle back to take a 15-12 lead, but Hiram countered with a 9-0 run, capped off on a Gaston layup, to jump back in front 21-15.
A layup from senior Josh Edmondson (Euclid/Twinsburg), with 2:57 left in the first half, capped a 10-0 scoring run for Hiram and gave them a 41-31 advantage
The Cardinals would score the final six points of the half to cut the deficit to 41-37 at the break.
Otterbein came out the half strong and jumped in front 46-45, eventually building a 64-57 lead.
Hiram countered by scoring the next seven points to tie the game up at 64-64 with 7:43 left to play.
A jumper from Thomas and a 3-pointer from Deckerd gave the Terriers the lead for good at 74-70, with 5:06 remaining.
Hiram would go 7-of-8 from the charity stripe in the final minute of play to hold on for the victory.
“When we went down by seven, we began focusing on one possession at a time,” added Kibler. “We got a huge bucket to get things rolling again. We were able to score a basket when we needed to tonight.”
Both teams shot the ball well, with the Terriers going 29-of-52 (55.8 percent) from the field and the Cardinals finishing 30-of-55 (54.5 percent).
Hiram will return to action on Saturday, when it closes out its three-game homestand by hosting Westminster (Pa.). Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.