The Hiram College men’s basketball team was defeated by Penn State-Beaver (Pa.), 87-74, in the final game of the TGI Friday’s Tip-Off Classic hosted by La Roche (Pa.) College in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The score remained close between the two teams in the early minutes of the first half. Hiram (0-2) led by a basket, 9-7, at the 16:27 minute mark following a jumper by senior guard Matt Roman (North Olmsted). PSU-Beaver then went on a 10-0 scoring run to take the lead, 17-9, with 14:33 left in the period. The Nittany Lions took control late in the game thanks to a 15-2 run to end the half, including a stretch of 12 unanswered points, to lead 49-27 at halftime.
The Hiram offense continued to struggle in the second half as PSU-Beaver carried over its first-half ending run with eight consecutive points to extend the margin to 30 points, 57-27, with 17:49 left in the game. The Nittany Lions led by as many as 31 points on several occassions with the last being a 74-43 advantage with 10:53 to go in the game. The Terriers chipped away at the deficit and got to within 11 points following a layup by senior guard Josh Edmondson (Euclid/Twinsburg) with 3:09 left to play. But the earlier deficit would prove to much to overcome as PSU-Beaver went on to win by the final score of 87-74.
PSU-Beaver shot 54.2 percent (32-of-59) from the floor and was led in scoring by Rob Agurs with a game-high 26 points. He also grabbed a game-tying high nine rebounds and had five assists. Chris Weathers was the only other player to score in double figures for the Nittany Lions with 10 points.
Hiram ended the game shooting 37.7 percent (23-of-61) for the game and had three players score in double-digits led by senior All-North Coast Athletic Conference guard Aaron Stefanov (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) with 17 points on six-of-15 shooting (40.0 percent). Roman was second with 12 points and Edmondson added 10 points to go along with a game-tying high nine boards.
Hiram will seek its first win of the season when it hosts Geneva (Pa.) College in a non-conference game and home opener at Price Gymnasium on Saturday, Nov. 30. The game is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.