The Hiram College men’s basketball team fell on the losing end of 75-71 outcome against Allegheny (Pa.) College in a heavily contested North Coast Athletic Conference game at Price Gymnasium.
The first half featured five ties and four lead changes. Allegheny (9-9, 3-6 NCAC) led by as many as eight points in the period and Hiram (10-8, 4-5 NCAC) led by as many as seven points. Both teams played at a back-and-fourth pace during the first 10 minutes of the half. Trailing by a basket with 10:30 to play, Hiram senior forward Steve Zivoder (Garrettsville/Garfield) connected on one-of-two free-throws that sparked a 9-0 scoring run nto put the Terriers up by seven points, 20-13, at the 7:50 minute mark. But Allegheny responded with an 18-3 run of its own to regain the lead and recorded it largest lead of eight points, 31-23, with 2:00 to go. The Gators maintained the advantage and took a 34-28 edge into the locker room.
In the second half, Allegheny did not relinquish the lead despite Hiram getting to within a single point on several occasions after trailing by as many as eight points down the stretch. The Terriers battled their way back to a 65-64 deficit with 2:50 left in the game following a pair of free-throws by Zivoder. Allegheny answered with a pair of three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to increase the margin to five points, 71-66, with 1:42 left to play. Still leading by five points, Hiram junior guard Aaron Stefanov (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) hit a three-pointer with two seconds left to make it a one-possession game, 73-71. But a pair of free-throws by Allegheny following the Stefanov triple sealed the game for the Gators and went on to claim the 75-71 victory.
Allegheny shot an impressive 47.5 percent (28-of-59) overall from the field, including an equally impressive 43.5 percent (10-of-23) from three-point range and 90.0 percent (nine-of-10) at the foul line. The Gators were led in scoring by the duo of Clark Tritto and Ryan Stanko who both scored 17 points. In addition, Tritto grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds. Also scoring in double-figures were Devone McLeod with 16 points and Josh Valentic with 10 points.
Hiram also shot well from the floor converting 46.2 percent of its attempts (24-of-52), including 50.0 percent (six-of-12) from behind the arc and 81.0 percent (17-of-21) at the free-throw line. The Terriers were led in scoring by Stefanov with a game-high 18 points on six-of-11 shooting (54.5 percent). Zivoder and junior forward Chris Zurowski (Medina) rounded out the high scorers with 11 points each. Zurowski also grabbed a team-best seven boards.
Hiram will travel to Wooster for a conference game against No. 8 nationally-ranked The College of Wooster on Saturday, Jan. 26. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.