The seventh-seeded Hiram College men’s basketball team was defeated by second-seeded Ohio Wesleyan University, 84-66, in a quarterfinal game of the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament tonight (Wednesday, Feb. 27) at Branch Rickey Arena in Delaware. [Box Score]
With the loss, the Terriers end their season at 8-18 overall while the Battling Bishops improve to 18-7 overall and will advance to face No. 6 Allegheny (Pa.) College on Friday (Feb. 29) in the NCAC semifinals.
The first half remained close throughout the period with eight lead changes and seven ties. Hiram led by as many as two points on two occassions with the last one coming at the 14:30 minute mark on a jumper by sophomore point guard Mike Staley (Perry/Mentor Lake Catholic) making the score, 9-7, in favor of the Terriers. OWU led by its largest lead of five points on several occasions in the first half including a halftime score of 35-30.
OWU began the second half with an 8-2 scoring run to increased its lead to double figures for the first time in the game, 43-32, at the 17:52 minute mark. The Terriers responded with a 14-3 run capped by a three-pointer by senior forward Chuck Williams (Cortland/Lakeview) to tie the contest at 46-46 with 13:46 to play. The Bishops countered with an 8-0 run of their own to extend the lead to eight points, 54-46, with 11:43 to go. The OWU lead grew to double digits again later in the period and maintained a double-figure lead for the remainder of the game including its largest lead of 18 points with the final score of 84-66.
For the game, OWU shot 51.7 percent (31-of-60) from the floor and held Hiram to 39.7 percent (25-of-63) shooting. The Bishops also out-rebounded the Terriers, 41-31.
Individually, the Bishops were led by Jesse Jean with game-highs of 23 points and 19 rebounds. Dustin Rudegeair was second with 17 points followed by Kyle Holliday with 14 points. Rounding out the OWU high scorers were Casey Teeters and Kyle Miller with 11 points each.
Hiram was led by freshman forward Hassan Muhammed (Akron/Buchtel) with 20 points on eight-of-15 shooting (53.3 percent). He also grabbed seven rebounds. Staley was the only other Terrier in double figures with 16 points. In addition, junior forward Ian Pfouts (Green) pulled down a team-high nine boards.
Hiram surpassed its season win total of a year ago, tallying eight wins this winter. The Terriers also reached the NCAC Tournament for the second straight season.
Senior forward Mike McDevitt (Lisbon/David Anderson) ends his career with 1,021 points and finishes 19th on the Hiram all-time scoring list. He also grabbed 474 career rebounds to place 10th all-time. Williams ends his career with 538 points with 119 career triples with a 34.4 lifetime shooting percentage (119-of-346) from behind the arc.