Women's basketball hosts Defiance for Senior Day

team huddle

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HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover women's basketball team will look to tie its longest winning streak of the season, five games, as they host Defiance for Senior Day this weekend.

The Panthers (16-8, 12-5 HCAC) and Yellow Jackets (7-17, 5-12 HCAC) will open a men's-women's doubleheader inside Collier Arena at 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 17.

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THANK YOU SENIORS: Seniors Julia Miller (Hartsville, Ind.), Baylee Mitchell (Advance, Ind.) and Allison Nash (Speedway, Ind.) will play in their final home regular season game as Panthers, with the trio accumulating a 57-46 (.553) record at Hanover College. Since they joined the team in 2014-15, HC has also produced a 41-30 (.577) HCAC record and 26-14 (.650) mark at home. Miller, Mitchell and Nash were all freshmen on the 2014-15 team that finished 19-9 overall, won the HCAC Tournament championship, and was the last Panther squad to make it to the NCAA Division III National Tournament. With a win Saturday, Hanover will tie the 14-15 team for most conference victories in a season, 13, over the past four years.

WINNING WAYS OF LATE: Hanover is hitting its stride at the right time, as the team enters the its regular season finale winners of four straight and nine of its last 12. During the current four-game winning streak, HC is averaging 76.8 pointers per game, outscoring its opponents by an average margin of 21.5 points per contest. Hanover will get the chance to continue its winning ways at home, where they have already won three times during this stretch of play.

HCAC TOURNAMENT ON THE HORIZON: Few things are certain in the HCAC standings entering the regular season finale, but Hanover has locked up the No. 4 seed in next week's conference tournament. Meaning, HC will host the No. 5 seed, who is still to be determined, on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Depending on how the men's conference standings fall out, the Panther women will have either a 7:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. tip Tuesday. The semifinal and championship rounds will be held at Rose-Hulman Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23 and 24.

NALL NAILING SHOTS: Entering Saturday, sophomore Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) has the best single season field goal percentage in program history, currently shooting 57.3 percent. The current record, with a minimum of 200 field goal attempts, belongs to Andrea Spurgeon, who shot 55.6 percent from the field in the 1999-00 season. Nall is averaging a team high 13.6 points per game this year and her overall shooting clip is inside the top 15 in NCAA Division III.

MOTTER NEARING SINGLE SEASON REBOUND RECORD: Sophomore Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.) is currently 25 rebounds shy of breaking the Hanover women's basketball record for most rebounds in a single season, which is held by Molly Martin, who tallied 289 in the 2007-08 season. With two guaranteed games remaining, Saturday and the HCAC Tournament Opening Round, Motter would need to average 12.5 rebounds per game to break the record. The sophomore is the only player in the HCAC this season to average a double-double at 13.5 points and 11.0 rebounds per contest.

DEFENSE DOMINATING: The Blue and Red recently produced their best defensive scoring effort in seven years, conceding just 34 points to Manchester last Saturday. The Panthers held an opponent to under 35 points for the first time since Jan. 19, 2011, a 59-30 win over Rose-Hulman. Hanover, who is experiencing its best defensive scoring performance under third year head coach John Jones, has held its last eight opponents to under 70 points and the team is conceding 54.8 points per game during the current winning streak.

THE SERIES WITH DEFIANCE: Despite splitting the last four meetings, Hanover has won eight of the past 10 versus Defiance and holds a 17-7 record since 2006. The Panthers are 8-3 inside Collier Arena, since 2006, but did drop last season's home meeting with the Yellow Jackets. Hanover took the victory the first time the two sides met this year, winning on the road, 92-62.

Contact: Tyler Jester

jestert@hanover.edu