Panthers drop 65-55 HCAC contest to Rose-Hulman

Alexis Nall with ball on the block

HANOVER, Ind. - Ahead by one going into the fourth quarter, the Hanover women's basketball team was unable to hold on as the Panthers fell 65-55 to Rose-Hulman in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference contest Wednesday evening in Collier Arena.

With the loss, Hanover falls to 12-8 overall and 8-5 in the HCAC, while the Fightin' Engineers improve to 17-3 overall and remain unbeaten in league play at 13-0.

Rose-Hulman led 11-6 about midway through the opening quarter, but the Panthers used a 9-2 run, capped off by a lay-up by sophomore Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) to close the period and take a 15-13 lead into the second quarter. 

The lead remained on the home side of the scoreboard the entire second quarter. Ahead 25-23 with just under four minutes in the half, Hanover scored eight of the next nine points to push the lead to 35-24. Junior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) scored five of the team's eight points during the run with a three-pointer and a lay-up. 

The Fightin' Engineers scored the final four points of the half to cut into the lead, but the Panthers would go into the locker room ahead 35-28 after 20 minutes of action. 

After exchanging baskets to start the third quarter, Rose-Hulman went on a 17-2 run to go in front 47-39, but Hanover answered with an 11-2 spurt to close the third quarter with a 50-49 edge.

Six straight points by the Fightin' Engineers to start the final frame gave them a 55-50 lead. Nall knocked down a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game, but the Panthers would get no closer the rest of the way as Rose-Hulman scored 10 of the final 13 points for the 10-point victory.

Both teams finished under 40% from the field, but the Fightin' Engineers shot 76.9% (10-13) from the free throw line to Hanover's 55.6% (15-27). Rose-Hulman also had a 47-35 advantage in rebounds, while the Panthers held a 12-2 edge in fast break points. 

Three starters finished in double figures for Hanover led by sophomore Maleha Motter's (Danville, Ind.) 15 points. She also had five rebounds and two steals. Cromer tallied 13 points, four rebounds and a steal, while Nall posted her fifth double-double of the season, and fourth in the last five games. The sophomore forward scored 12 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and had two blocks and a steal in the defeat.

The Panthers will be back in action Saturday, Feb. 3 when they host Anderson in another HCAC match-up. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. in Collier Arena. 

Contact: Mike Pritchard