RICHMOND, Ind. - In her first start of the season, senior Allison Nash (Speedway, Ind.) came through in a big way with a career-high 29 points to become only the 13th player in Hanover women's basketball history to record 1,000 career-points in an 86-75 win over Earlham Wednesday evening.
In addition to her career-point milestone, and her single-game career-high, Nash also became only the seventh player in program history to record at least 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career as she grabbed her 500th rebound in the team's previous game at Manchester Saturday.
The win is the second straight, and third in the last four games for the Panthers, which have now won 14 of the 15 contests between the two schools since 2010 when Earlham joined the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. In the last five meetings in Richmond, Hanover has now won by the score of 86-75 twice, to go along with last year's final score of 85-74.
The Blue and Red fell behind 5-1 early, and trailed 13-8, but a 10-0 run put them ahead 18-13 with 2:41 left in the opening period. The Quakers scored five straight to tie the game at 18 apiece only to see the Panthers score six of the final eight points for a 24-20 edge after one quarter of play.
Hanover continued to lead in the second quarter and pushed that lead to nine points when junior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) knocked down a three-pointer to make it 38-29 with 4:26 on the clock. Earlham (1-13 overall, 1-6 HCAC) responded with a 9-1 run to cut the deficit to only one at 39-38. The two teams then closed out the half with five points each and the Panthers would take a 44-43 advantage into the locker room.
Nash opened the second half with six of the team's first eight points in an 8-2 run as the lead grew to seven at 52-45. She capped that run with a pair of free throws, career points 1,000 and 1,001.
Ahead 58-53 with 2:47 remaining, Hanover closed the quarter on a 10-1 run with Nash hitting a lay-up to end the period and give the Panthers a 14-point lead (68-54).
Cromer hit her second three-pointer of the game and then added a pair of free throws at the 7:53 mark in the fourth quarter to give Hanover it's biggest lead at 18 points (73-55). The Quakers slowly chipped away and pulled within nine with 1:40 to go, but would get no closer and eventually drop their ninth straight game.
The 86 points tie for the second most in a game this season as the Panthers are now 5-0 in games in which they score 80 or more points.
Nash made a career-high 12 field goals and added three free throws to set a new career-high with 29 points. Her previous best of 27 was set against Defiance December 12, 2015. She also had four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals in a season-high 28 minutes of action.
Sophomore Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.) had a big night. The second-year forward tallied her fifth double-double of the season with 19 points and 13 rebounds, and also had two blocks, two assists and a steal, while Cromer notched her eighth double-digit effort of the year with 18 points, three steals and two rebounds.
Hanover, now 9-5 overall and 5-2, in the league will next play Anderson Saturday, Jan. 13. Game time for the HCAC contest is set for 2 p.m. in Anderson, Ind.
Contact: Mike Pritchard