Men's Basketball Surges Past Allegheny

Men's Basketball Surges Past Allegheny

The Hiram College men's basketball team saw five score in double figures on Wednesday evening, as the Terriers took down Allegheny College, 98-82, in Price Gymnasium.

Prior to the contest, the Terriers celebrated the career of lone senior Marcel Rice, who finished the game with 12 points and eight rebounds in 29 minutes of work to help lead the way to the victory.

In the opening half, the two sides played at a fervent pace as the Gators and Terriers combined for 81 shot attempts and scored nearly 100 points in the first 20 minutes. Allegheny shot 16-of-36 from the field in the opening stanza, while the Terriers were 21-of-45.

Allegheny worked quickly out of the gate, running out to an 11-4 advantage in the first four minutes of action. Junior Jordan Rawls, who dominated the first half with 24 points, canned two early triples to help the Gators to the early lead.

Trailing 21-17, an eight-point run by the Terriers would give them their first lead of the night. Sophomore Jalen Kirksey tallied back-to-back layups, before Christian Crespo and Brodgie Gordon added buckets of their own to turn a four-point deficit into a 25-21 lead.

Over the final seven minutes of the first half, the two sides would combine for 19 made buckets from the field, nearly doubling the first half score by half's end. In that time, Crespo totaled 10 points, while Kirksey added seven.

With the game at just a one-point difference, Gordon would end the half with a running bank shot that beat the buzzer to give the Terriers a three-point advantage heading into the break (49-46).

The game was still up for grabs with just over 11 minutes to play as Allegheny's Zach Ecker put in a bucket to pull the Gators within a score (70-68). It was from there, however, that the Terriers took over the matchup.

In an eight-minute span of the second half, the Terriers put together a 24-9 run that turned a slim, two-point margin, into a 15-point lead.

Hiram started the swing with an 8-0 run that was sparked by a three from Tyler McMillion. Antonio McQueen would add a tip following a herculean effort on the glass. Crespo would then snag a trio of free-throws to push the lead to 78-68.

With the lead cut back down to seven (81-74) following a basket by Allegheny's Brian Roberts, Jr., the Terriers would close the swing with a 12-3 run. Crespo scored three mid-range jumpers in the run, which was also fueled by a pair of dagger-like three-pointers from Gordon. The last, which came well beyond the three-point arc, pushed the Hiram lead to 93-77. From there, the Terriers would coast to the 16-point win.

Like it has been all season long, the Terrier success came from a balanced scoring attack. Eight different players totaled at least six points, while five finishing in double figures.

Crespo came just shy of his career-high, dropping in 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Gordon tallied an all-around effort, posting 15 points, six assists and four rebounds.

Both Rice and Sherman Dean III finished with 12 points, while McQueen posted eight with a game-high 16 rebounds. Olive Clingain totaled nine off the bench, while McMillion finished with six.

Playing efficient basketball throughout the day, the Terriers posted 17 assists compared to just nine turnovers. They also held a 50-44 advantage on the glass.

The win for Hiram helped the Terriers keep pace in the NCAC standings. Still with the ability to reach the fourth seed, and a first-round home playoff game, Hiram sits tied with Oberlin College at 9-8 in fifth, just one game behind DePauw for fourth place.

The Terriers will put the wraps on the 2018-19 regular season on Saturday afternoon as they host the Tigers of Wittenberg. The matchup is slated for a 2 p.m. start.