Motter, Nall lead Panthers to 81-66 win over Earlham

Maleha Motter shoots a free throw

HANOVER, Ind. - Sophomores Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.) and Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) combined for over half of the team's points as the Hanover women's basketball team completed the regular season sweep with an 81-66 win over visiting Earlham Wednesday evening in Collier Arena. 

The Panthers, which won for the eighth time in as many games when scoring 80 or more points, improve to 14-8 overall and 10-5 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, while the Quakers fall to 5-17 overall and 5-10 in league play.

Trailing 13-9 over midway through the opening period, Nall scored five straight points to ignite a 13-4 run to give Hanover a 22-17 lead after 10 minutes of action.

Earlham scored 11 of the first 16 points of the second quarter to grab a 28-27 lead, but three consecutive baskets by senior Allison Nash (Speedway, Ind.), junior Macy Walker (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Motter put the Panthers back in front 33-28 with 4:43 left in the half.

The Quakers closed the half with four free throws and a lay-up, while Hanover also hit four free throws and added three lay-ups to take a 43-34 lead into the intermission.

Earlham got within six (45-39) early in the third quarter, but would get no closer as the Panthers out-scored the Quakers 19-3 over the next 6:18 to push the lead to 21 at 63-42. A three-pointer by Nall at the 1:35 mark gave Hanover it's largest lead of the game at 24, and the Panthers would take a 70-49 lead into the final frame.

Earlham out-scored Hanover 17-11 in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough as the Panthers finished with the 15-point victory for its seventh win in nine home games this season. 

Hanover had advantages in fast-break points (15-6), points in the paint (50-34), second chance points (15-4) and points off turnovers (24-22), while shooting a season-high 54.8% (34-62). The Panthers also had 21 assists, which is good for the second most in a game this year. 

Motter posted game-highs in points (23), rebounds (7) and blocks (3). The 23 points were also a new career-best for the sophomore, who made 10 of her 16 shots from the floor in 31 minutes of action. 

Nall shot 8-of-14 from the field for 19 points to go along with four rebounds, three assists and three steals. She's now scored in double figures in eight straight contests. 

Walker had a solid all-around game off the bench as she finished with seven points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals in 23 minutes.

Hanover is back in action Saturday, Feb. 10 at home against Manchester. The HCAC tilt is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start in Collier Arena.

Contact: Mike Pritchard