HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover women's basketball team will look to continue to jockey for position in the HCAC standings Wednesday evening when they welcome league-leading Rose-Hulman.
The Panthers (12-7, 8-4 HCAC) and Engineers, who are both in the top four of the current HCAC standings, will tip off at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 31.
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THE TEAMS: Hanover enters Wednesday in fourth place in the league standings with six games remaining. The Blue and Red however, are just one game back from second place where Bluffton and Transylvania currently reside. With its next win, the Panthers will match their win total from last year and pull within two wins of matching their 11 conference victories from a season ago.
Prior to dropping a pair of games last week, HC had averaged 83.0 points per game, while allowing only 65.4 per contest during a five-game winning streak. On the season, Hanover is averaging a HCAC-best 72.9 points per game and is the only team in the conference with a scoring offense over 70 points per game. The Panthers' offensive outburst is thanks in large part to their overall efficiency and ability to get to the charity stripe. Hanover is second in the HCAC in field goal percentage, .420, while its 314 free throws made is first in the conference and eighth nationally.
In six home games this season Hanover has produced a 5-1 overall record and 3-1 mark in conference action. Inside Collier Arena, the Panthers are getting three more points per game than their season scoring average at 75.7, while shooting .434 from the floor.
Rose-Hulman has won 14 straight games dating back to November 2017 and currently holds 16-3 overall and 12-0 HCAC records. RHIT, who has been receiving votes in the D3hoops.com National Top 25 poll over the past few weeks, has a 6-2 record in true road games, with both losses coming to nationally-ranked opponents.
The Engineers have relied on their defensive effort all season long, allowing just 47.5 points per game, which is good enough to lead the HCAC and rank eighth nationally. Junior Ally Bromenschenkel is pacing RHIT with 13.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
THE SERIES: Hanover has dropped each of the last five meetings with the Engineers, including the last two inside Collier Arena. The Panthers jumped out to an early advantage at RHIT earlier this season before falling 66-57. Since 2006, Hanover leads the series 17-8 and is 8-3 at home.
LAST TIME OUT: The Panthers erased an eight-point deficit with less than three minutes to play, but a pair of free throws from Bluffton in the closing seconds secured the 64-62 win for the Beavers. Hanover did have a chance to tie or take the lead after falling behind late, but a three-point attempt as time expired was off the mark.
Sophomore Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) scored a season high 23 points to go along with 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. Classmate Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.) added 13 points and 15 rebounds for her conference-leading ninth double-double during the 2017-18 campaign.
UP NEXT: Hanover will continue what will be a four-game home stretch with a contest against Anderson this weekend. The Panthers and Ravens are set for a 4 p.m. start Saturday, Feb. 3.
Contact: Tyler Jester