The Hiram College men’s basketball team won a high-scoring affair against the University of Mount Union, 93-84, in a non-conference game and season opener at Price Gymnasium.
Mount Union (1-3 overall) opened the game with a 5-1 scoring run and led for the majority of the first 10 minutes of the period. Trailing, 16-11 at the 12:21 minute mark, Hiram (1-0 overall) outscored the Purple Raiders, 13-5, over the next 5:03 to grab a three-point lead, 24-21, on a pair of free-throws by senior guardJustin Wisniewski (Macedonia/Nordonia) with 7:18 left before halftime. Mount Union came back to tie the game at 24-24, but an 11-1 run by Hiram that ended in two free-throws by senior guard Alan Sheppard (Wadsworth) put the Terriers back in front with a commanding 10-point edge, 35-25. The Purple Raiders rallied to end the half with a 10-3 run of their own to cut the Hiram lead to 38-35 at the intermission.
The second half would see Hiram score 55 points and quickly jumped out to an eight-point lead, 48-40, early in the half. Mount Union would not go away battling back to tie the game on two occassions with under 10 minutes to go in the game, including a 67-67 stalemate at the 7:04 mark. But Hiram regained the lead and slowly began to pull away the remainder of the period and recorded its largest lead of the game of 13 points, 92-79, with 46 seconds to go thanks to a pair of free-throws by junior guard Aaron Stefanov (Stow/Stow-Munore Falls) as the Terriers went to win by the final of 93-84.
Hiram shot 45.0 percent (27-of-60) from the field for the game and Mount Union shot 40.0 percent (26-of-65). Both teams combined for 63 three-point attempts with Mount Union shooting 14-of-38 (36.8 percent) and Hiram 12-of-25 (48.0 percent). The Terriers shot 27-of-33 at the free-throw line (81.8 percent) to Mount’s 18-of-21 (85.7 percent).
Individually, the Purple Raiders were led by Jarrett Ruffin who scored 20 points on six-of-11 shooting (54.5 percent) to go along with a game-tying high eight rebounds. Nate Jacubec was second in scoring with 19 points, followed by Kyle Scelza with 16 points and Matt Kiger added 11 points.
Hiram was led by Stefanov with a game-high 23 points on six-of-16 shooting (37.5 percent) from the floor and a perfect eight-of-eight at the free-throw line. He also grabbed six rebounds. Sheppard finished the game with 21 points and was eight-of-nine at the charity stripe while three other players finished in double-figures in scoring. Wisniewski scored 15 points, followed by junior forward Chris Zurowski (Medina) with 11 points and senior forward Steve Zivoder (Garrettsville/Garfield) added 10 points. In addition, Wisniewski and Zurowski each grabbed a game-tying high eight rebounds.
Hiram will travel to Granville for a matchup against Denison University on Wednesday, Nov. 28 in the North Coast Athletic Conference opener. The game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.