HANOVER, Ind. - Sophomore Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) posted her first double-double of the season with 17 points and 13 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as the Hanover women's basketball team fell 83-65 to visiting Bluffton (Ohio) Saturday afternoon in Collier Arena.
With the loss, the Panthers fall to 5-3 overall and 2-1 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Beavers improve to 5-1 overall, and 2-0 in league play.
Nall, who entered the contest after scoring a season-high 22 points in win over Transylvania Wednesday night, set a career-high with her 13 rebounds against Bluffton, while making seven of her 12 shot attempts from the floor.
Junior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) scored 16 points to go along with four rebounds, three assists and a steal. Junior Avery Chezem (Loogootee, Ind.) had another strong performance off the bench with 11 points, two steals and an assist, and sophomore Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.) finished with eight points and nine rebounds.
Neither team led by more than three until the 3:32 mark in the opening quarter when a Motter lay-up gave the Panthers a 15-10 lead. Bluffton answered with a 9-2 run to go in front 19-17 and would go on to finish the quarter with a 20-19 advantage.
A 14-3 run by the Beavers to open the second quarter pushed the lead to 34-22. Junior Macy Walker (Indianapolis, Ind.) knocked down a three-pointer with 2:26 left in the first half to cut the lead to single digits at nine, only to see Bluffton score the final five points to take a 47-33 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
The lead continued to grow in the third quarter as the Beavers would lead be as many as 20 (60-40), but Hanover would not go away as the Blue and Red used a 13-4 run to end the quarter and pull within 64-53.
The Panthers made it an eight-point game at the 4:36 mark in the fourth quarter, but could get no closer as Bluffton would score the final 10 points for the 18-point victory.
The Beavers had a 27-10 advantage in points off turnovers and a 40-34 edge in points in the paint. Hanover did shoot a season-high 50.0%, including 77.8% (7-9) in the third quarter.
Next up is another HCAC contest against Defiance on the road Saturday, Dec. 16. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. in Defiance, Ohio.
Contact: Mike Pritchard