HANOVER, Ind. – Looking for its first four-game winning streak in three seasons, the Hanover women's basketball team will welcome Mt. St. Joseph for a mid-week conference showdown.
The Panthers (10-5, 6-2 HCAC) and Lions will conclude the first round of HCAC play at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 17, inside Collier Arena.
THE TEAMS: Hanover has won three straight games for just the second time under current head coach John Jones, and are returning home from a month-long road swing. During the seven-game stretch away from Collier Arena, HC posted a 5-2 record, including a 4-1 mark in conference action.
On the season, the Blue and Red are 3-1 at home, but dropped their last outing at Collier Arena to Bluffton back on Dec. 9, 2017. Prior to the Bluffton setback, HC averaged 73.3 points per game and held a scoring margin of 20.0 points per game over the first three home contests.
Posting 79 or more points in each of the last three outings, Hanover is now up to a conference-best 73.0 scoring averaging. The Blue and Red are also among the top 50 in the country in scoring average this season. Hanover is also playing its best defense under Jones, conceding 62.8 points per game.
Mt. St. Joseph (8-7, 4-4 HCAC) enters Wednesday's contest having dropped their last two games to Defiance and Transylvania, both by double-digits. The Lions have a combined 4-3 record in road/neutral sites games this season, but dropped a 61-51 decision at Defiance last Saturday.
Maddie Haberthy and Lainee Studer lead an offense averaging 61.8 points per game, coming in at 15.5 and 13.4, respectively. Studer also leads the Lions in rebounds (6.8), assists (3.5) and steals (3.4) per game.
THE SERIES: Since the start of the 2006-07 season, Hanover has won 18 of the 22 meetings with MSJ, including each of the last three. During the stretch, HC is 10-1 at home, which includes a 68-55 triumph last February. Hanover has won four of the last five meetings inside Collier Arena.
LAST TIME OUT: Defense was the story for the Panthers last Saturday, as they allowed 10 or fewer points in each of the final three quarters of a 79-44 win at Anderson. The 44 points allowed is the second lowest total scored by an opponent under Jones' regime.
Offensively, 12 different players scored for HC, with all five starters tallying at least six points in the win. Sophomore Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.) lead the team with 16 points and nine rebounds, while senior Allison Nash (Speedway, Ind.), who was named HCAC Player of the Week, and junior Avery Chezem (Loogootee, Ind.) added 14 and 10 points respectively.
UP NEXT: The Panthers will cap off their week at home by welcoming Franklin for a 4 p.m. tip, Saturday, Jan. 20. Hanover and FC met back in December, where the Blue and Red won, 66-59.
Contact: Tyler Jester