HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover women's basketball team will jump start the New Year by returning to HCAC play this week, first with a trip to Rose-Hulman.
The Panthers (7-4, 3-1 HCAC) and Fightin' Engineers (8-3, 4-0 HCAC), who are both in the top two of the HCAC standings, are set for a 7 p.m. tip, Wednesday, Jan. 3.
THE TEAMS: Hanover is off to its best overall start in over five years, posting a 7-4 record through the month of December. The Blue and Red are coming off a 1-1 weekend in the Wittenberg Kiwanis Holiday Classic, dropping a 67-60 contest to nationally ranked Ohio Northern before bouncing back with a 79-58 win over Susquehanna (Pa.).
The Panthers will be competing in their fourth true road contest of the season and their eighth game away from home in 2017-18 on Wednesday evening. Overall, HC is 4-3 away from Collier Arena and are averaging 72.4 points in those contests. In two HCAC road outings, Hanover is 2-0 with wins over Franklin (66-59) and Defiance (92-62).
Rose-Hulman will be returning to action after a long layoff, last playing on Dec. 16 against Manchester, when they won 73-42. The Fightin' Engineers have won six straight overall and are yet to drop a conference contest this season. At home, Rose-Hulman is 4-0, winning all four games by double figures.
The defending HCAC regular season and tournament champions were tested in the non-conference, facing four consecutive nationally ranked opponents in November. During the stretch, RHIT went just 1-3 but all four games were decided by six points or less.
LAST TIME OUT: Hanover's last game came against Susquehanna, where the Panthers posted their fourth margin of victory over 20 points this season. The Blue and Red had four players score in double figures, including sophomore Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.), who tied a career high with 20 points. Motter also added 15 rebounds in the win and was named to the all-tournament team.
Following up a 19-point performance against Ohio Northern was junior Avery Chezem (Loogootee, Ind.), who posted 11 points in her first start of the season. Chezem's 19 points against ONU set a new career best for the first-year transfer.
UP NEXT: The Panthers will continue its current seven-game road stretch with an appearance at Manchester this Saturday, Jan. 6. Hanover and MU are scheduled for a 1 p.m. tip.
Contact: Tyler Jester