GAMBIER, Ohio — The Kenyon College men’s basketball team was involved in yet another closely-contested conference game that just didn’t go their way in crunch time. The Owls missed their last five shots Wednesday night and got called for an offensive foul that opened the door for the visiting Terriers of Hiram College to escape Tomsich Arena with a 78-73 win.
With the score tied 71-71 and roughly two minutes remaining in the game, Hiram’s Brodgie Gordon, who poured in a game-high 24 points, completed a three-point play to give the Terriers the edge. About 16 seconds later, Kenyon’s Gefen Bar-Cohen was fouled. He made both his free throws, pulling the Owls within one point.
Kenyon got three shots off during its next two possessions, but two missed the mark and one was blocked. Following the third miss, Hiram gained control and got the ball back to Gordon. He was fouled and sank two more free throws, putting the Terriers in front 76-73 with 27 seconds remaining.
When Kenyon went the other way, it was whistled for an offensive foul. David Mazon III then came up with a steal with 18 seconds left, but two desperation three-pointers from the Owls offense veered off target. Gordon was there to grab the final rebound. He was fouled again and sank two more free throws to cap off the game.
Kenyon fired at 50.0 percent (14-of-28) during the first half, but stumbled through the second half at 29.3 percent (12-of-41). At the line, the Owls were 52.2 percent (12-of-23), while Hiram rarely missed, sinking 93.3 percent (28-of-30) of its charity tosses.
Despite those struggles, Kenyon held a lead for nearly 60 percent of the game, which featured 13 lead changes and 16 tied scores. It was a close contest from start to finish. The Owls never led by more than seven points and the Terriers never led by more than five, the final margin.
Kenyon senior Nick Lewis came off the bench to hit four three-pointers. He finished with a team-high and season-high 18 points. Bar-Cohen dumped in 14 points and snatched a dozen rebounds to log his fifth double-double of the season. Mazon III, who got Kenyon going in the early stages of the game, finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, while a scrappy game from Drew Valentino resulted in eight points and 11 rebounds.
The loss dropped Kenyon to 7-12 overall and 0-10 in North Coast Athletic Conference contests. Seven of Kenyon’s 12 losses were by five points or less.
Hiram, which also defeated Kenyon at home by five points in early December, completed the season sweep of the Owls. In addition to Gordon’s big game, the Terriers saw Noah Adam score 17, Dushawn Hill score 13 and Kevin Beans Jr. add 11 points for a team that improved to 9-9 overall and 4-6 in the NCAC.