Women's basketball drops conference game at Rose-Hulman

Avery Chezem dribbling down the court with Allison Nash following

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Ahead by two points just over midway through the fourth quarter, the Hanover women's basketball team was out-scored 13-2 in the final 4:41 to fall 66-57 to Rose-Hulman in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference road-contest Wednesday evening.

With the defeat, the Panthers fall to 7-5 overall and 3-2 in the HCAC, while the Fightin' Engineers extend the nation's longest current NCAA Division III women's basketball home winning streak to 30 games, and improve to 9-3 overall and 5-0 in league play.

That winning streak looked to be in jeopardy early as Hanover used an 18-4 run, including 13 unanswered points at one point, to close out the first quarter with a 26-10 lead. Junior Avery Chezem (Loogootee, Ind.) knocked down all four of her shots from the field and both free throws for 10 first-quarter points as the Panthers shot 69.2% (9-13) in the opening period. 

The Fightin' Engineers cut the lead to 11 within the first three and a half minutes of the second quarter, and pulled within five at the 3:20 mark before senior Allison Nash (Speedway, Ind.) hit a three-pointer to make it 34-26 with under three minutes remaining in the half. The two teams split the final 10 points and Hanover led 39-31 at the intermission. 

Rose-Hulman continued to chip away in the third. A free throw with 5:47 on the clock made it a 43-40 game, but sophomore Holly Kallmeyer (Covington, Ky.) hit a three-pointer, and junior Morgan Bivins (Bloomington, Ind.) followed with a lay-up to make it an eight-point game again.

Five of the next six points were scored by the Fightin' Engineers to cut that lead in half at 49-45 going into the final 10 minutes of the game.

After a Chezem lay-up made it 51-45 one minute into the fourth quarter, Rose-Hulman scored eight straight points to take its first lead of the game at 53-51. 

Nash tied the game with a lay-up followed by a made jumper by sophomore Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.) to give the Panthers a two-point advantage with 5:04 on the clock, but that would be the last made shot from the field for Hanover as the Blue and Red missed their final seven shots. The only two points came on a pair of Chezem free throws, while The Fightin' Engineers made four of seven from the field, and four of five from the charity stripe to close out the game.  

After shooting 56.0% (14-25) in the first half, including 64.3% (9-14) from long range, the Panthers managed only 24.1% (7-29) in the second half with only one made three-pointer to finish at 38.9% (21-54) for the game. 

Chezem posted her third straight double-digit game, and fourth in the last five contests with a team-high 18 points on six of 11 shooting. Junior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) added nine points. Sophomore Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) had seven points and six rebounds, and sophomore Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.) tallied a game-high 11 rebounds. 

Hanover will next play Manchester in another HCAC contest Saturday, Jan. 6. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. in North Manchester, Ind.

Contact: Mike Pritchard