Panthers in search of 10th straight win over Anderson Saturday

Allison Nash

HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover women's basketball team will continue its four-game home stand and will be looking to snap a three-game skid when they welcome Anderson to Collier Arena this weekend.

The Panthers (12-8, 8-5 HCAC) will look to improve upon their placement in the HCAC standings when they take on the Ravens at 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 3.

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THE TEAMS: Despite the recent skid, Hanover enters Saturday's contest in fourth place in the HCAC standings, two games clear of Mt. St. Joseph for fifth and two games back from Bluffton and Transylvania for second place. 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 in 2016-17.

Preceding three straight losses to the top three teams in the conference standings, Hanover had won five in a row, averaging 83.0 points per game, while allowing only 65.4 points per contest. On the season, HC leads the conference in scoring offense, as their 72.0 points per game is the only average in the HCAC over the 70-point plateau. The Blue and Red are also among the top 10 in the country in free throws made, totaling 329 this season.

In seven home games this year, the Panthers have produced a 5-2 overall record and 3-2 mark in conference action. Junior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) has helped lead HC to the strong home record, averaging nearly 16.0 points per game inside Collier Arena. Sophomores Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) and Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.), HC's two overall leading scorers, are combining for over 25 points per outing at home this season as well.

Anderson has yet to record its first win of the 2017-18 campaign, as they are 0-20 overall and 0-13 in conference play. The Ravens have lost 34 straight games dating back to the 2016-17 season, which is the third longest streak in NCAA Division III.

Hannah Hawkins leads the squad in points (9.6), rebounds (6.7) and blocked shots per game (1.5), while also posting a team-best .527 field goal percentage. Overall, the Ravens are averaging 47.6 points per game while allowing just under 70 points per outing.

THE SERIES: Hanover is currently experiencing its longest winning streak against the Ravens since the start of the 2006-07 season, winning nine straight meetings. The Panthers also won nine straight games against AU from 2009-13 and are 18-7 versus the Ravens since 2006. Earlier this season, HC put together one its best defensive performances, defeating AU on the road, 79-44. Hanover allowed just 14 points in the second half of the Jan. 13 meeting.

LAST TIME OUT: The Panthers took a lead into the fourth quarter against HCAC-leading Rose-Hulman this past Wednesday before ultimately falling 65-55. Hanover was held to a season low point total in the fourth quarter, getting outscored by RHIT, 16-5.

Motter, Cromer and Nall combined to score 40 points, nearly 75 percent of the team's total Wednesday. Motter paced the Panthers with 15 points, while Cromer added 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Nall recorded her fifth double-double of the season and fourth in five games, totaling 12 points and 14 rebounds.

UP NEXT: The Panthers will welcome former HC standout, Shauna Watson ('15), and the Quakers of Earlham for a 7:30 p.m. tip, Wednesday, Feb. 7. Watson, who is in her first year at the helm for EC, will be making her first trip back to Hanover and will be facing her alma mater for the second time this season.

Contact: Tyler Jester

jestert@hanover.edu