HIRAM, OHIO — Freshman forward Samantha Morford (Jefferson) connected on back-to-back jumpers in the final minute, including what would turn out to be the game-winning bucket, as the Hiram College women’s basketball team came away with a 54-53 win against The College of Wooster today (Saturday, Dec. 3) in the North Coast Athletic Conference opener for the Terriers at Price Gymnasium. [Game Stats]
With the win, the Terriers have won four straight games to improve to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in the NCAC. The Fighting Scots fall to 1-4 overall and 0-2 NCAC.
Wooster was in control for the majority of the first half as Hiram shot just 26.7 percent (eight-of-30) from the field. The Scots took the lead at the 14:10 minute mark and led by as many as 10 points, 29-19, with 2:32 left before the intermission. Junior forward Brenna Host (Seven Hills/Normandy) scored the final points for Hiram in the half to cut the lead to eight points, 29-21. But Wooster tallied one-of-two free-throws in the final 30 seconds to claim a 30-21 advantage heading into the locker rooms.
In the second half, the Hiram shooting improved as the Terriers began the period with a 12-2 scoring run that ended in a three-pointer by senior guard Tiffany Shields (Bedford Heights/Bedford) to give Hiram a 33-32 lead with 14:18 left to play. The Scots quickly recaptured the lead, but would never lead by more than four points the rest of the way, including a 49-45 margin with 3:35 to go. Morford connected on a jumper with 46 seconds left following a Wooster turnover to narrow the gap to a point, 53-52. The Scots turned the ball over again on their ensuing possession giving the ball back to Hiram will a chance to take the lead. Senior All-NCAC guard Kelsey Durichko (Brunswick) found Morford underneath the basket for her second consecutive field goal which also gave the Terriers a 54-53 lead with 19 seconds remaining. Following back-to-back misses by Wooster in the final seconds, Morford would get the rebound and would be fouled with two seconds left. Despite missing the free-throw and the rebound going in favor of Wooster, the Scots failed to get a shot off as Hiram hung for a 54-53 victory.
Wooster was led in scoring by Jessica Wingen with game-highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds. Samantha Sulzer was the only other Scot in double-figures with 12 points.
Hiram had one player score in double-digits in sophomore guard Marisa Thomas (Lorain/Amherst) with 11 points on four-of-nine shooting (44/4 percent). In addition, junior guard Calysia Smyers (Akron/Coventry) grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds and Durichko finished the game with a game-high eight assists.
Hiram will look to keep the momentum going when it travels to Oberlin for a NCAC matchup against Oberlin College on Wednesday, Dec. 7. The game will be part of a basketball doubleheader with the Terrier men’s team. The women will play at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8 p.m.