Women's basketball unable to overcome slow start in loss to Transylvania

Claire Cromer dribbling at the top of the key

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Although the Hanover women's basketball team out-scored Transylvania in the second half, the Panthers were unable to overcome a slow start and fell 69-59 in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference road game Wednesday evening. 

The loss snaps Hanover's five-game winning streak as the Panthers fall to 12-6 overall and 8-3 in the HCAC. The Pioneers improve to 14-4 and 9-2 in league play. 

Transylvania made its first three shots of the game to take an early 6-0 lead, but a pair of three pointers by sophomores Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.) and Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) quickly tied the game at six apiece. 

Following a 6-2 run by the Pioneers, Motter hit another three to make it 12-11 at the 3:33 mark. Transylvania answered by scoring the final 10 points of the quarter and led 22-11 at the end of the first period. 

Two threes early in the second pushed the lead to 28-11, and the Pioneers would continue to control the game as they extended the lead to 19 points (43-24) at the half.  

Hanover began chipping away in the third quarter. A jumper by sophomore Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.) at the 1:56 mark cut the deficit to nine points at 50-41. Transylvania made a pair of free throws at the end of the period and would take a 52-41 lead into the final frame.

Freshman Savannah Courtney (Lawrenceburg, Ky.) hit a jumper, and Motter was fouled on a made lay-up to start the fourth quarter. She hit the free throw to cut the lead to six, but the Pioneers answered with a three to make it a nine-point game with 7:31 to play. 

Neither team would score again until junior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) made a lay-up just under the five-minute mark to get within seven.

Junior Avery Chezem (Loogootee, Ind.) then followed a Transylvania lay-up with a three-pointer with 4:04 on the clock to get within six again, but the Panthers would get no closer as the Pioneers pushed the lead back to double figures en-route to the 10-point victory. 

Motter led the way for the Blue and Red with her eighth double-double of the season. The sophomore posted team-highs with 15 points, 15 rebounds and three steals. Nall finished with 14 points, four rebounds and a pair of steals, while Cromer added 11 points, six boards, three assists and three steals.

Hanover will return to action Saturday, Jan. 27 with another HCAC contest against Bluffton. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m. in Bluffton, Ohio. 

Contact: Mike Pritchard