Panthers put five-game winning streak on the line Wednesday night

Avery Chezem

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HANOVER, Ind. – Winners of five straight, the Hanover women's basketball team will look to continue its recent winning ways and snap a five-game losing skid against Transylvania in Lexington, Ky. Wednesday evening.

The Panthers (12-5, 8-2 HCAC) and Pioneers, who have won 10 straight overall, will put their winning streaks on the line at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 24.

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THE TEAMS: Hanover is currently experiencing its longest winning streak under third year head coach John Jones and have also won the most games in a single month, five, since he took over prior to the 15-16 season.

With the second round of HCAC play underway, the Panthers are currently in tie for second place with Transylvania and are just two games back from Rose-Hulman for the top spot. The Blue and Red will have a good chance to surpass last season's conference win total, 11, as they have won eight of their first 10 outings this year.

With 80 or more points in three of the last five games, Hanover is now up to a conference-best 74.4 scoring average this season, which is also good enough for 35th in NCAA Division III. The Panthers are also playing their best defense under Jones, conceding 64.0 points per game.

Winners of 10 straight, including its past seven outings in conference play, Transylvania has produced 13-4 overall and 8-2 HCAC records. At home, Transy has won 9-of-10 games, including each of its last seven at the Beck Center.

The Pioneers are averaging 68.5 points per game this season, but defense has been the story of success in 2017-18. Transy is allowing 56.2 points per contest, which is second best in the HCAC. They are also blocking 6.2 shots per outing, ranking them first in the conference and fourth nationally.

THE SERIES: Despite dropping each of the last five meetings in Lexington, the Panthers will have momentum on their side heading into Wednesday night, having won their last two outings against the Pioneers. Since 2006, Hanover is 12-17 against Transy, with its last win at the Beck Center coming in the 2012-13 HCAC Tournament Championship, where they won 83-66. The Blue and Red won the first game between the two sides this season, in Hanover, 75-69.

LAST TIME OUT: Off the heels of 99-90 double overtime win over Mt. St. Joseph the Wednesday prior, Hanover never trailed in a 70-56 triumph over Franklin this past Saturday, sweeping the regular season series with the Grizzlies.

The Panthers had five players score in double figures for the second straight game and were led by sophomores Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) and Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.), who each had 14 points. Nall added 10 rebounds for her second consecutive double-double, while Hartman added three rebounds and three assists.

Tallying a career high 18 rebounds was sophomore Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.), marking the fourth time this season she posted at least 15 boards in a game. Motter recorded her HCAC-leading seventh double-double Saturday by adding 13 points.

Also recording double-digit scoring efforts were juniors Avery Chezem (Loogootee, Ind.), 12, and Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.), 11. Cromer also logged a team high five assists and four steals.

UP NEXT: Hanover's stretch of playing three straight teams ranked in the top four of the HCAC standings continues with a trip to Bluffton. The Panthers and Beavers will tip off the men's women's doubleheader at 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 27.

Contact: Tyler Jester

jestert@hanover.edu