Up-Tempo Opening Period Propels Terriers Over Scots

WOOSTER, Ohio – A 25-point opening period and well-spread offensive effort lifted Hiram College to a 74-50 victory over The College of Wooster women's basketball team on Wednesday evening at Timken Gymnasium.

Hiram (14-5, 6-4 North Coast Athletic Conference) listed five scorers in double-digits, led by junior Mercedes Jones's 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting and game-high 10 rebounds.

First-year Courtney Lockhart goes up for layup against Hiram's Erica Johnson on Wednesday evening at Timken Gymnasium.

For the Fighting Scots (1-17, 0-9 NCAC), sophomore Anna Gibbs and junior Aki Shurelds each tallied a team-best 10 points. On the defensive end, Gibbs pulled down five rebounds to go along with a game-high four steals.

Hiram's Dana Perrotta, who finished with 11 points on seven shots, capped off an opening 15-4 run with a successful and-one opportunity as the Terriers sped to a quick start.

Wooster first-year Kylie Orr stopped the bleeding with a spot-up 3-pointer at the 4:13 mark for her only made field goal of the night. Meanwhile, the Terriers closed the opening stanza on a 10-4 run behind contributions from four different players to take a 25-11 lead.

After a 3-pointer from Perrotta to open the second, the Scots clawed back to within 11 (30-19) thanks to three-straight free throws from Shurelds and book-ended baskets by senior Danielle Besancon, who converted on a strong take to the rim before connecting from beyond the arc in response to a mid-range jumper from Hiram's Jones.

Five-straight points from Hiram swung the momentum back in its favor before Shurelds, who scored eight of her 10 points in the second quarter, answered from long range to cut the deficit to 13 (35-22) at the 4:11 mark. However, a period-closing 7-3 run from the Terriers brought their advantage to 17 (42-25) entering the halftime break.

Hiram shot 50 percent (15-for-30) in the opening half while limiting Wooster to 24.1 percent (7-for-29) from the floor. The Scots finished the first half 3-for-7 from three-point range and 8-for-10 from the foul line.

The Scots kept it close in the third period behind seven points from senior Rachel Collins and two each from first-year Courtney Lockhart and Shurelds, but Hiram's Kaylee Schockley helped fend off the Scots with seven of her own in the period as part her 13 total points to help keep Hiram ahead, 56-36, going into the fourth.

A layup from Gibbs sparked a 10-4 Wooster run at the period's start as the Scots trailed 60-46 with 3:39 left to play. The Scots' comeback effort ended there, however, as Hiram closed on a 14-4 run behind contributions from Scott, Savana Lowery, Logan Nitsche, and seven-consecutive points from Allison Vannoy, who finished with 10 on the night.

Of note, Hiram totaled 32 foul shots on the day, led by Yost's 8-for-10 effort and Shockley's 7-for-8 performance. Lockhart led the Wooster reserves with seven points in 13 minutes as Wooster's bench outscored the Terriers 21-14.

The Scots return to action on Saturday at No. 13 DePauw University (18-1, 10-0 NCAC) for a 1 p.m. tipoff.