The Hiram College men’s basketball team ended a two-game losing skid with a 74-63 victory against Kenyon College in a North Coast Athletic Conference game at Price Gymnasium.
Both teams played a competitive first half with four ties and three lead changes. With the score tied at 3-3 early in the first period, Hiram (8-7, 2-4 NCAC) went on a 9-2 scoring run to take a 12-5 advantage following a jumper by sophomore guard Josh Edmondson(Euclid/Twinsburg) at the 13:59 mark. Kenyon (7-8, 1-5 NCAC) came back to even the score at 23-23 with 4:47 left in the half and later took a slim one-point edge, 26-25, with 3:42 to go. Hiram then rattled off six-straight points, that included a three-pointer by senior guard Alan Sheppard (Wadsworth), to put the Terriers up by five points, 31-26, late in the half. The Lords rallied one more time answering the scoring run with five consecutive points of their own to tie the game at 31-31 heading into halftime.
Kenyon scored the first points of the second half to take the lead and led for the majority of the first 10 minutes of the final period. The Lords led 47-46 at the 12:44 mark when Hiram regained the lead for good with a 6-0 run to go up by five points, 54-49, following a pair of free-throws by senior forward Steve Zivoder (Garrettsville/Garfield) with 9:02 left to play. Kenyon made one more comeback and fought to within a point, 54-53, but that would be as close as the Lords would get as the Terriers scored five unanswered points to increase the margin to six points and never looked back. Hiram maintained the lead and posted its largest margin of the game of 11 points with the final score of 74-63.
Kenyon shot 36.4 percent (20-of-55) from the floor as a team and had four players score in double-digits. Ikenna Nwadibia led the way with 15 points on four-of-seven shooting (57.1 percent) in addition to grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds. Julian Pavlin and Brian Lebowitz were tied for second with 11 points and John Bray rounded out the high scorers with 10 points.
Hiram shot 35.3 percent (24-of-68) for the game and was paced by junior guard Aaron Stefanov (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) with a game-high 23 points on six-of-14 shooting (42.9 percent). He also shot five-of-nine (55.6 percent) from three-point range and was a perfect six-of-six at the free-throw line. Zivoder was second in scoring with 17 points and shot an impressive nine-of-10 (90.0 percent) at the charity stripe in addition to seven rebounds. Sheppard was third in scoring with 14 points.
Hiram will host Ohio Wesleyan University on Wednesday, Jan. 16 as part of a basketball doubleheader with the Terrier women’s team. The women will tip-off against the Battling Bishops at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8 p.m.