Women's hoops heads to Earlham Wednesday evening

Macy Walker

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HANOVER, Ind. – Continuing its recent road stretch, the Hanover women's basketball team will travel to Earlham for a mid-week conference contest.

The Panthers (8-5, 4-2 HCAC), who have three games remaining in the first round of HCAC games, will square off with the Quakers at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 10.

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THE TEAMS: Hanover is currently in the middle of a seven-game stretch away from home, as the team has posted a 3-2 record since its last home contest on Dec. 9, 2017. After splitting a pair of road HCAC outings last week, HC is in a three-way tie for third place in the league standings. The Blue and Red's only two losses in conference play have come to the top two seeds, Rose-Hulman and Bluffton, who have a combined 20-6 overall and 11-1 HCAC record.

After an 81-point explosion last time out at Manchester, HC has improved its season scoring average to 71.5 points per game, which is second in the HCAC and among the top 60 in NCAA Division III. The Panthers are also playing defense, posting the best points against average, 66.3, in the John Jones era.

Earlham enters Wednesday with losses in each of its last eight overall outings. After winning its conference opener, the Quakers have also dropped five straight in league play, culminating into 1-12 overall and 1-5 HCAC marks in 2017-18.

The Quakers are averaging 53.0 points per game this season, but are averaging four less points per game in conference action. Earlham is 1-4 at home this season and in three HCAC home outings, they have one win.

THE SERIES: The Panthers have controlled the series against the Quakers, as they have a 13-1 record since the start of the 2006-07 season. Hanover won both meetings last season, but did drop an 85-73 decision in Richmond, Ind. during the 2015-16 campaign. In his third year at the helm, Jones is 3-1 against EC. Jones will be facing one of HC's former players, Shauna Watson, who will be coaching her first game against her alma mater after taking over for the Quakers at the beginning of this season.

LAST TIME OUT: Hanover jumped out to an early advantage, leading 23-9 after the first quarter, en route to an 81-62 triumph at Manchester this past Saturday. The Blue and Red shot a season best 50 percent in the contest, including an 18-for-28 (.642) effort in the first half.

Three players tallied 15 or more points including sophomores Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.) and Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.), who paced the Panthers with 19 points each. The duo combined to shoot 13-of-20 from the floor, as well as grabbing 17 total rebounds.

Junior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) netted 5-of-9 field goal attempts for 15 points. Cromer also added four rebounds and a team high three steals.

UP NEXT: Hanover will finally conclude its road stretch with a trip to Anderson Saturday, Jan. 13. The Panthers and Ravens are slated for a 2 p.m. tip.

Contact: Tyler Jester                         

jestert@hanover.edu