The Hiram College men’s basketball rally from a 15-point deficit after the first 20 minutes against Oberlin College fell short falling to the Yeomen, 55-51, in a North Coast Athletic Conference game at Price Gymnasium.
Despite opening the game with a pair of free-throws as a result of a technical foul before the game officially started and a successful three-point shot by Hiram (1-3, 0-2 NCAC) junior forward Chris Zurowski (Medina) for an early 5-0 lead, Oberlin (2-5, 1-1 NCAC) caught fire from three-point range shooting 76.9 percent (10-of-13) in the first half. The Yeomen put together a stretch of seven straight successful triples resulting in a 17-point advantage, 26-9, with 11:55 left in the half. The Terriers could do nothing but try and wait out the hot shooting, but the deficit would grow to as many as 19 points and trailed 38-23 at halftime.
Hiram began its rally right from the start of the second half, beginning the period with an 8-0 scoring run that ended in a jumper by senior forward Steve Zivoder (Garrettsville/Garfield) that got Hiram to within seven points, 38-31, with 15:05 left to play. Oberlin answered back with an ensuing, 11-2, run of its own to extend the lead back to double-digits, 49-33, at the 12:18 mark. Trailing by 10 points with just under eight minutes to go, Hiram made one final push outscoring Oberlin, 10-2, to make it a one-possession ball game, 53-51, on a three-pointer by junior guard Aaron Stefanov (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) with 1:56 to play. The Terriers then went scoreless the rest of the way as the Yeomen added a pair of free-throws to seal the victory with two seconds on the clock to hang on for a 55-51 win.
Oberlin shot just 25.0 percent in the second half after a first half that saw the Yeomen convert 68.4 percent of their overall shots. Oberlin finished the game shooting 44.2 percent (19-of-43) for the game and was led by Austin Little who scored a game-high 20 points on seven-of-15 shooting (46.7 percent), including six-of-12 (50.0 percent) from behind the arc. The Yeomen had one other player in double-figures in Andrew Fox who scored 11 points in addition to recording a game-high nine assists. In addition, Randy Ollie grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
Hiram ended up shooting 41.3 percent (19-of-46) from the field and had two players score in double-digits. Zivoder finished the game with a team-high 12 points on four-of-nine shooting (44.4 percent). Fellow senior forward Justin Lonis (Mentor/Perrysburg) rounded out the high-scorers with a career-high 10 points.
Hiram will travel to Youngstown for a non-conference game against NCAA Division I Youngstown State University on Saturday, Dec. 8. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.