GRANVILLE, Ohio—Jalen Kirksey's layup with 0.8 seconds left in regulation sent Hiram to an 81-80 win over Denison, thwarting an epic second half comeback by the Big Red.
Denison trailed by 20 with 10:18 left in the contest caught fire and nearly pulled off the improbable comeback. Senior Claude Chandonnet drilled his third 3-pointer of the game with 14 seconds left on an assist by Matt Doyle to make it a one-point game. DU quickly fouled the Terriers and Austin Blatt split the pair, giving Denison an opportunity to tie the game with a two or take the lead with the three. In a play similar to their last possession, Doyle drove and kicked to a wide open Chandonnet who buried the clutch 3-pointer with 6.8 seconds remaining. The shot by Chandonnet gave Denison its first lead since the opening minutes of the contest at 80-79.
Hiram inbounded the ball near the Denison and bench. Once the double team came near the 3-point arc, they found Kirksey who was streaking down the middle of the court. Kirksey won the footrace against the Denison defense and finished at the rim with 0.8 left on the clock. Denison's desperation attempt from beyond half court fell short and Hiram escaped with the win.
Five players scored in double figures for the Terriers, led by Kirksey's 15 points in 24 minutes. Austin Blatt scored 13 and had four steals on 4-of-7 shooting. Tyler McMillion and Marcel Rice chipped in 12 points for Hiram.
Doyle paced Denison with 14 points, eight assists, and five rebounds. Chandonnet scored 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting, all from behind the arc. Jack Coulter, Nate Haller, and Matt Gerics tallied nine points and Jake Livingston added eight points and nine rebounds.
Denison (1-5) shot 49 percent from the field (28-of-57) and were 15-of-34 (.441) from 3-point range. Hiram shot 52 percent from the floor (32-of-62) and were 5-of-19 (.263) from downtown. DU held a 39-27 edge on the glass but committed 20 turnovers compared to nine for Hiram who improves to 3-3.
The Big Red returns to action this Saturday when they host Kenyon College at 3 p.m.