LOS ANGELES, CALIF. — Freshman forward Samantha Morford (Jefferson) scored a team-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds, but it would not be enough as the Hiram College women’s basketball team fell to Occidental (Calif.) College, 64-54, Friday night in Los Angeles, Calif. [Game Stats]
With the loss, the Terriers fall to 4-6 overall and the Tigers improve to 6-1 overall for the season.
Occidental scored the first six points of the first half to take an early 6-0 lead. Hiram recorded its first points of the game at the 15:48 mark with one-of-two free-throws by Morford to make the score 6-1. The Terriers later battled back to take the lead with a 6-0 scoring run of their own on back-to-back three-pointers by junior guard Calysia Smyers (Akron/Coventry) making the score 11-10 with 10:45 to play in the period. Late in the half, the Terriers got some breathing room with an 8-o run giving Hiram a 24-16 edge with just under a minute left. Occidental scored the final four points of the period and narrowed the Hiram lead to 24-20 at the intermission.
The Tigers quickly regained the lead in the second half, beginning the period with an 8-0 run and never trailed in the game again. Occidental outscored Hiram, 44-30, in the final 20 minutes and slowly began to pull away recording its first double-digit lead with 11:15 left in the game with a score of 44-33. Occidental posted its largest lead of the game of 13 points, 59-46, with 3:27 remaining en route to capturing a 64-54 victory.
Occidental shot 39.6 percent (21-of-53) from the floor, but went just one-of-nine (11.1 percent) from three-point range. The Tigers made up for the poor shooting by converting 21-of-24 attempts (87.5 percent) at the free-throw line. Individually, Makenzie Brandon led the way with game-highs of 28 points and 10 rebounds. Stephanie Scamman was the only other player in double-figures for Occidental with 10 points.
Hiram shot 32.7 percent (18-of-55) from the floor and was led by Morford’s 21 points and nine rebounds. Eleven of her 21 points came at the charity stripe making 11-of-14 attempts. Smyers was second in scoring with 15 points with all of her points coming from behind the arc. Rounding out the high scorers was senior guard Tiffany Shields (Bedford Heights/Bedford) with 12 points.
Hiram will wrap-up its “west coast swing” on Saturday, Dec. 31 with a non-conference game against Chapman (Calif.) University. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. EST in Los Angeles, Calif.