Stefanov, Sheppard lead Hiram to upset of No. 9 Ohio Wesleyan in NCAC action
HIRAM, Ohio -- Hiram defeated No. 9 Ohio Wesleyan 78-65 in a North Coast Athletic Conference game at Price Gymnasium on Wednesday.
Hiram (9-7, 3-4 NCAC) opened the first half, outscoring OWU (13-2, 6-1 NCAC) 13-4 to take a sizeable early lead. The Battling Bishops came back to even the score at 20 with 8:44 left in the half, but an ensuing 9-0 scoring run by the Terriers that ended in a jumper by senior forward Justin Lonis put Hiram back up by nine points with 2:12 left before halftime.
Hiram recorded its largest margin of the half shortly after at 32-22 and took an eight-point advantage into the locker room with a halftime score of 32-24.
OWU battled to within four points early in the second half, but Hiram took control of the game with an 8-0 run sparked by a 3-pointer by senior guard Justin Wisniewski as the Terriers took a 17-point lead with 13:39 remaining in the game. Hiram went on to lead by as many as 23 points late in the game following a pair of free-throws by Wisniewski with 3:38 to go.
The Bishops pulled within 13 points in the final minutes before the Terriers went on to claim the 78-65 victory.
OWU shot 35.1 percent (26 of 74) from the field, but shot just 27.3 percent (6-for-22) from 3-point range and 33.3 percent (7 of 21) at the free-throw line.
The Bishops were led in scoring by Marshall Morris with a game-high 17 points on 8 of 13 shooting (61.5 percent). He also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
Hiram shot 45.8 percent (27 of 59) overall, including 45.8 percent (11-for-24) from behind the arc and 81.3 percent (13 of 16) at the charity stripe.
The Terriers were led by junior guard Aaron Stefanov with 13 points on 4 of 9 shooting (44.4 percent). Junior forward Chris Zurowski was second with 12 points and both senior guard Alan Sheppard and freshman forward Riley Moore added 10 points. Sheppard added a game-high eight assists.