DEFIANCE, Ohio – The Hanover women's basketball team never trailed en route to a 92-62 road victory over Defiance in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action Saturday afternoon.
Defense was theme for the Panthers (6-3, 3-1 HCAC) early on, as they held the Yellow Jackets (2-6, 1-3 HCAC) to just seven first quarter points, which tied a season best for the HC defense. Hanover closed the final seven minutes of the first quarter on a 15-3 run to take a 19-7 edge after 10 minutes of play.
Defiance was held to just a .286 shooting clip in the first half. Hanover however, was only able to make 15-of-41 first half field goal attempts, but netted 9-of-11 free throw tries to help secure a 40-22 lead at the intermission. The Blue and Red finished 21-of-26 at the foul line for the contest.
Junior Morgan Bivins (Bloomington, Ind.) scored 12 of her team high 15 points in the first half, as her point total tied a career best, which she originally set in a game versus Centre (Ky.) on Nov. 28, 2015. The junior went 5-for-6 from the field and the foul line, while tallying a season high seven rebounds as well Saturday afternoon.
Three Panther sophomores also scored in double figures, including Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.), who finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) posted 11 points, while Brooke Todd (Vevay, Ind.) added all 10 of her points in the first half, to go along with team highs in assists (3) and steals (4).
After a slow start offensively, Hanover drained 19-of-31 field goals in the second half, a .613 percentage, to grow its lead to as many as 37 points early in the fourth quarter. The Panthers started the second half on a 12-0 scoring run to push its lead to 30 points, 52-22, with 6:57 left in the third period.
After the scoring spurt to open the second half, the Blue and Red's lead never shrank to lower than 20 points, as they earned their second straight win at Defiance. Hanover has now won four of its last five games against the Yellow Jackets inside the Karl H. Weaner Center.
On a day when 16 players appeared for HC, the Panthers outscored Defiance 49-15 in bench points. Joining Bivins in the bench scoring spree were junior Avery Chezem (Loogootee, Ind.) and senior Baylee Mitchell (Advance, Ind.), who tallied nine and eight points respectively. Chezem and sophomore Amanda Butler (Bloomfield, Ind.) each added three helpers off the bench to tie for the team high. Overall, 14 different players scored Saturday afternoon.
Hanover enjoyed a 47-28 advantage on the glass as well, while recording a season best 21 offensive rebounds. The Panthers capitalized on their second chance opportunities with 25 points.
The Blue and Red's season high 92 points marked the first time in 2017-18 the team surpassed the 90-point plateau. Hanover is now 6-1 when scoring at least 90 points under head coach John Jones.
The Panthers will break from conference play when they compete in the Wittenberg (Ohio) Kiwanis Holiday Classic Friday and Saturday, Dec. 29 and 30. Hanover will open tournament play with a noon tip-off on the 29th, against No. 15/16 Ohio Northern.
Contact: Tyler Jester