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Kenyon’s strong finish nets win at Hiram

HIRAM, Ohio — Trailing for most of Monday night’s women’s basketball game, the Kenyon College Owls went on a 15-0 fourth-quarter run to post a 70-59 victory at Hiram College. The win not only gave the Owls the season sweep of the Terriers, but also moved Kenyon past Hiram and into sole possession of fifth place in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) standings.

Down by two, at 50-48, to start the fourth quarter, Kenyon completely took over the game. With roughly six minutes left, Mikayla Rudolph made a nice pass down low to Anissa Hardy. She then spun off the block and banked in a close-range shot to tie the game at 54-54. About 40 seconds later, Bela Krslovic was fouled on a three-point attempt. She made 2-of-3 free throw attempts and gave Kenyon its first lead since the 7:02 mark of the second quarter.

The Owls (8-15, 4-8 NCAC) kept pouring it on when Hardy converted a turnaround jumper and Alyssa Gest sank two free throws to push the lead to 60-54. Later, Alexis Newman drove the right side and finished off a layup. Gest followed with two more free throws and Kenyon had a 10-point lead with a minute left.

With 31 ticks left, Hiram’s Brooke Hickman connected from down low and snapped a Terriers’ scoreless drought that lasted nearly eight-and-a-half minutes. Kenyon was still ahead by 10 at that point and the Owls closed things out by scoring five of the game’s final eight points.

The Kenyon offense had four double-digit scorers, but it was Katie Orefice and Gest who led the way. Orefice rang up 23 points, while Gest tossed in 22. Orefice, who just surpassed 850 career points and 200 career assists, also had eight rebounds against the Terriers.

Kenyon’s other two top scorers were Newman and Hardy. Newman dropped 10 points, while Hardy put together her third double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Hiram (9-14, 3-9 NCAC) owned an 18-16 lead after one quarter of play and a 37-29 lead at halftime. Twenty-six of the Terriers’ points were scored in the paint, the same place the Terriers outrebounded Kenyon 25-15 in the half. A dozen of those rebounds were off the offensive glass for Hiram, while Kenyon managed just two offensive rebounds.

With 23 second-chance points going against them, the Owls made the right adjustments during the break, maintained an equal rebounding total with the Terries and outscored Hiram 19-13 in the quarter. The Owls’ output was boosted by a trio of three-pointers, one each from Orefice, Gest and Newman. With a little more than a minute left in the quarter, Hiram was whistled for a technical foul. Newman went to the other end and sank the two free throws to pull Kenyon within two points, at 50-48.

That set the stage for Kenyon’s impressive fourth quarter in which it outscored Hiram 22-9.

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