HIRAM, Ohio-- Jalen Kirksey's two free throws gave Hiram a two-point lead with 11 seconds to play and Matt Doyle's potential game-winning 3-point try at the buzzer was just off the mark, allowing the Terriers to escape with a 91-89 victory.
On Dec. 5 in Granville, these two teams played to a one-point decision with Hiram leaving after a Kirksey layup at the buzzer. On Tuesday night at Price Gymnasium, there were 15 lead changes and 13 tie game situations and neither team led by more than seven points at any given time.
A basket by Freeman Brou with 6:57 left in the game tied the score at 81-81. A quick burst from Hiram capped off by an Antonio McQueen dunk put them on top 85-81.
With just over three minutes remaining DU turned to Doyle and his back-to-back jumpers tied the game at 85-85.
A Hiram turnover gave the ball back to Denison with 2:30 to play. Doyle's 3-point try was off the mark but Jake Livingston was there with the offensive rebounds and the put-back to lift the Big Red to a two-point lead.
Hiram's McQueen drew a foul and went to the line where he tied the game. On Denison's next possession, Hiram's Tyler McMillion came up with a critical steal. After a Hiram timeout, Dean Sherman's 3-point try missed the mark but McMillion was there for the offensive rebound and McQueen followed with a slam to give the Terriers an 89-87 lead.
After McQueen's slam, Doyle came through with a turnaround jumper knotting the game at 89-89 with 41 seconds left, setting up Kirksey's eventual game-winning free throws with 11 seconds left.
Doyle led Denison with 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting in 27 minutes. Five players scored in double figures for the Big Red as Livingston followed with 15 points and Jack Coulter scored 11 on 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range. Conor Fenton tallied a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes. Matt Gerics contributed 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting in 15 minutes off the bench.
McQueen led Hiram with 26 points and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench. Kirksey finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Denison will try and bounce back on Saturday when they travel to Gambier, Ohio for a 3 p.m. tipoff against Kenyon College.