Gators use Stifling Defense to Down Hiram, 51-46

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MEADVILLE, Pa. – The Allegheny women's basketball team held Hiram to just 26.7 percent shooting, and held off a scrappy Terrier team en route to a 51-46 victory at home Wednesday night.

The Gators would once again dig themselves an early hole, as they would start the game shooting ice cold from the floor. They would start the game missing 13 of their first 14 shot attempts, while finding themselves down 10-2 just 4:49 into the opening stanza.

Allegheny would play through the tough stretch, and quickly right the ship behind the tenacity of junior Daryl Ford. Ford would take over inside, scoring seven of the next 11 points for the Gators, giving them their first lead of the game 13-12. The first half would continue to be a battle, until the final moments of the frame when Allegheny would score the final six points of the half to take a 26-20 lead.

The Gator lead would hover around six for a majority of the second half, as Allegheny would answer any potential Hiram run with big shot after big shot. The lead would get to as many as nine when a Heidi Goeller jumper was followed by a Ford free throw with just 4:03 remaining in the contest.

However, the Terriers were not finished, as a couple of three's late cut the Allegheny lead down to one with just over a minute to go. The Gators, needing to put the game away, went to the hot hand of Ford who laid it in with 50 ticks on the clock, putting Allegheny up by three.

On the ensuing inbounds, the Gators turned to their full court pressure, as Hiram guard Chelsea Kovach stumbled and kicked the ball out of bounds. Hiram's 21st turnover of the game proved to be the nail in the coffin, as Ford would sink a pair of free throws putting the game out of reach.

Allegheny would finish the game forcing 22 Hiram turnovers, while holding them to just 16-60 shooting from the floor.

Ford ended the game as the only Gators in double figures, scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. Goeller added eight points and 10 boards, while sophomore Erica Restich chipped in with eight points, nine rebounds and four assists to help Allegheny win a season-high fifth straight game.

Freshman Kendall Hoffman also had a solid day for the Gators, scoring seven points on 3-7 shooting; including a couple key buckets early on to get the Allegheny offense in sync.

The Gators are off until Saturday, when they will travel to Gambier, Ohio to take on the Ladies of Kenyon College. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 pm.

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