Despite overcoming an 11-point deficit in the second half to lead by a point with just over a minute to go in the game, the Hiram College women’s basketball team fell short against Ohio Wesleyan University, 69-68, in a North Coast Athletic Conference game in Delaware.
Hiram (8-16, 3-12 NCAC) scored the first seven points of the game to grab the early lead. But the Ohio Wesleyan (8-15, 7-7 NCAC) then rallied outscoring the Terriers, 23-10, to take a 23-17 advantage at the 5:27 minute mark. The Battling Bishops maintained the lead the rest of the half and took a seven-point margin into the locker rooms with a halftime score of 33-26.
In the second half, Hiram shot 51.7 percent from the field (15-of-29), including 85.7 percent (six-of-seven) from three-point range. OWU looked to be headed to an easy victory early in the final period recording its largest lead of the game of 11 points, 46-35, with 14:15 left in the game. Junior guard/forward Alexis Kemper (Centerville) then connected on a three-pointer on Hiram’s ensuing possession, one of five triples for Kemper on the day, which sparked an 18-4 scoring run giving the Terriers a 53-50 advantage with 6:55 left on the clock. The Bishops quickly regained the lead with five straight points, but the two teams then went back-and-forth on the scoreboard the rest of the way. Following a layup by Christy Griffin (Middlefield/Cardinal) which gave Hiram a 67-66 lead at the 1:11 mark, the Terrier offense then went cold allowing OWU to score three consecutive points to move ahead 69-67. Hiram had one final opportunity to even the score as Griffin was fouled as the clock expired. Griffin connected on just one of the two free-throw attempts, allowing the Bishops to hang on for the one-point victory.
OWU shot 41.5 percent (22-of-53) overall, including 57.1 percent (eight-of-14) from behind the arc. The Bishops were led in scoring by Caroline Welker with a game-high 26 points on nine-of-15 shooting (60.0 percent). Joining her in double figures was Emily Julius with 11 points and Kristen Henning and Mary Corbett both added 10 points.
Hiram shot 37.3 percent (22-of-59) from the field and had three players score in double digits. Kemper led the way with 17 points while shooting six-of-nine (66.7 percent) overall from the field and five-of-seven (71.4 percent) from three-point range. Senior guard Calysia Smyers (Akron/Coventry) was second with 16 points and senior forwardBrenna Host (Seven Hills/Normandy) scored 10 points. In addition, junior guard Danielle Day (Newbury) recorded a game-high nine rebounds.
Hiram will wrap-up the regular season next Saturday, Feb. 16 when the Terriers host Denison University in a NCAC game at Price Gymnasium. It will be senior day and will also be part of a basketball doubleheader with the Hiram men’s team. The women will face the Big Red at 2 p.m., followed by the men against Wittenberg University at 4 p.m.