The Hiram College men’s basketball team fell to Wittenberg University, 68-62, in a North Coast Athletic Conference game at Price Gymnasium in the season and home finale on senior day.
The two teams accounted for four ties and six lead changes in the first half with neither team leading by more than six points. Wittenberg (16-9, 9-7 NCAC) led 12-10 at the 12:25 minute mark when Hiram (11-14, 5-11 NCAC) went on a 10-2 scoring run that ended in a pair of free-throws by senior guard Justin Wisniewski (Macedonia/Nordonia) with 6:59 left in the period giving the Terriers a 20-14 advantage. The Tigers rallied back with an ensuing 9-2 run of their own to take the lead, 23-22, at the 3:47 mark. Following one-of-two free-throws by sophomore guard Josh Edmondson (Euclid/Twinsburg) to tie the game at 23-23, Wittenberg scored six unanswered points to record its largest lead of the half of six points, 29-23, en route to having a 32-27 margin at the intermission.
Both squads continued the see-saw play in the second half with two ties and six lead changes. Trailing by a point, 40-39, with 12:04 to play, Hiram outscored Wittenberg, 13-8, to grab a four-point lead, 52-48, that included a three-pointer by senior guard Tom Herchek(Randolph/Waterloo) at the 6:11 mark. The Tigers rallied again and later tied the game at 58-58 with 3:05 to go and later took the lead for good on its ensuing possession with a three-pointer. Hiram battled to within a point on two occasions in the final 2:34, but another Wittenberg three-pointer and free-throws down the stretch sealed the six-point victory for the Tigers, 68-62.
Wittenberg shot 46.9 percent (23-of-49) from the field and had four players score in double figures. Scott Masin scored a game-high 26 points on eight-of-12 shooting (66.7 percent), including 10-of-13 (76.9 percent) at the free-throw line. He also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Ben Syroka and Alex Fultz were tied for second with 11 points each and Steven Newell rounded out the high scorers with 10 points.
Hiram shot 40.7 percent (24-of-59) overall from the floor and was led in scoring by senior guard Alan Sheppard (Wadsworth) with 17 points on seven-of-15 shooting (46.7 percent). He was joined in double digits by Herchek and Wisniewski with 10 points each.