ALLIANCE, Ohio -- Mount Union's men's basketball team defeated Hiram (1-3) by a score of 78-70 Wednesday night in the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.
Leading the Purple Raiders to a record of 4-1 was JJ Kukura (Alliance/Alliance) who recorded 26 points as Mount Union had nine different scorers on the night.
Kukura led all scorers in the first half with 17 points as Mount Union took a 42-31 lead into the locker room after a first half of runs by both teams. The Raiders came out of the gates leading 10-7 off five quick points from Kukura. From that point, the Raiders stretched their lead to eight as they went on a 7-2 run to extend their lead to 17-9. A 13-5 Hiram run tied the game at 22-22 with just over eight minutes remaining the half. After trading layups, Kukura sparked another Raider run as they went on a 13-0 run to push the score to 37-24. The Raiders opened their largest lead of the half at 15 on a Thomas Mason (Alliance/Marlington) layup to make the score 42-27. A 4-0 Hiram run in the last minute ended the half.
Sophomore Tanner Slack's (New Concord/John Glenn) three point basket pushed the lead to 20 at 64-44 as the Raiders went on a 12-2 run within the first seven minutes of the second half. A 6-0 run by the Terriers cut the Mount Union lead to 14 with 10 minutes left in the game. The teams continued to share baskets with Mount Union holding a steady 12 point lead throughout most of the last ten minutes. The closest the Terriers got was eight with 33 seconds left in the game.
Mount Union shot 43 percent (27-of-63) from the floor while shooting just over 41 percent (12-of-29) from distance. The Mount defense held the Terriers to 35 percent from the floor on 23-of-66 from the floor and just 26 percent (5-of-19) from distance.
Next up for the Raiders is the Ohio Athletic Conference opener at Wilmington on Saturday, December 2 at 3 p.m.