HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover women's basketball team will look to keep pace at the top of the HCAC standings this weekend with a trip to Manchester.
The Panthers (7-5, 3-2 HCAC) and Spartans will meet for the first time this season with a 1 p.m. tip, Saturday, Jan. 6.
THE TEAMS: Despite dropping two of its last three conference outings, HC is currently in a three-way tie for third place in the HCAC standings. Hanover's two losses in conference play have come to the top two seeds, Rose-Hulman and Bluffton, who have a combined 18-6 overall and 9-1 HCAC record.
The Panthers posted their best overall start prior to the New Year in over five seasons, logging a 7-4 mark through December. Hanover however, is coming off a 66-57 setback to Rose-Hulman. The Blue and Red have won three straight over Manchester entering Saturday's contest, including an 83-58 triumph at MU last February.
Hanover's game at Manchester will continue a stretch of six straight contests away from Collier Arena. The Panthers are a combined 4-4 in true road and neutral sites games this season.
Manchester is coming off a 58-50 home victory over Franklin last Wednesday, improving the them to 3-9 overall and 2-3 in HCAC action. All three of MU's wins this season have come at the Stauffer-Wolfe Arena.
The Spartans are averaging 53.9 points per contest, while allowing 68.1 per game. In five home games this season, MU is averaging 51.4 points per game, shooting just under 30 percent from the field.
LAST TIME OUT: Hanover was able to jump out to a 16-point lead, 26-10, after the first quarter, but Rose-Hulman conceded just 18 second half points to rally past the Panthers, 66-57.
After shooting 56 percent in the opening half, including a .692 shooting clip in the first quarter, HC was held to just 7-of-29 in the second half. The Engineers enjoyed a 61.5 field goal percentage over the final 10 minutes, outscoring HC, 21-8.
Junior Avery Chezem (Loogootee, Ind.) continued her recent strong play, as she made her first five shots en route to a team high 18 points. The junior drained three attempts from long range and added three rebounds and two assists. Classmate Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) was the only other Panther to score in double figures, as she finished with 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
Grabbing double-digit rebounds for the fourth straight game and seventh time in the last nine outings was sophomore Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.). Motter tallied five points and five steals to go along with her team high 11 rebounds Wednesday evening.
UP NEXT: The Blue and Red will concluded its recent stretch of games away from home when they travel to Earlham. The Panthers and Quakers are slated for a 7:30 p.m. start, in Richmond, Ind., next Wednesday, Jan. 10.
Contact: Tyler Jester