BLUFFTON, Ohio – Three Panthers scored in double figures as the Hanover women's basketball team used strong shooting second and third quarters to cruise to a 73-50 victory at Bluffton Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers (5-3, 2-1 HCAC) shot 58.6 percent from the field over the two-quarter stretch, which included a six-for-eight (.750) performance from behind the arc. Over the 20-minute span, Hanover outscored the Beavers (2-6, 1-2) by a count of 48-24.
Pacing Hanover Saturday was junior Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.), who led the team with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Motter, who posted her seventh double-double in eight games, made 6-of-11 field goals and went 7-for-11 at the charity stripe.
Juniors Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) and Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.) added 19 and 10 points, respectively. The duo combined for 16 first quarter points, a period which Hanover led 21-19. Nall pitched in with nine rebounds and three assists in the contest, while Hartman logged six rebounds and a career-high five steals.
The junior tandem of Hartman and Nall scored the game's first seven points, as HC led 7-0 less than two minutes in. After the Beavers rallied to lead for most of the frame, a 5-0 scoring spurt, featuring a layup from Nall and a trey from Hartman, the Blue and Red led 21-19 after 10 minutes of play.
A quick 5-0 run, featuring a three-pointer from Motter, followed by a steal and layup from senior Avery Chezem (Loogootee, Ind.), opened the second frame for HC. The run would extend to 10 straight points, as the Panthers led 31-21 with 6:58 remaining in the first half.
Behind a combined 36 points from Hartman, Motter and Nall, Hanover took a 44-32 advantage into the intermission. The Blue and Red shot 8-for-13 in the second stanza, finishing the first half at a .471 clip.
Hanover had another strong shooting quarter in the third, a period that saw them outscore the Beavers 25-11. Hanover made 9-of-16 field goal attempts, a .563 shooting clip. Motter had eight points in the frame, while senior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) tallied all seven of her game points in the third period.
The Panthers' reserves played the entire fourth frame, as the team cruised to the 73-50 triumph.
Overall, HC finished with a .424 field goal percentage, including a .421 mark from behind the arc. The Panthers also enjoyed a 40-32 edge in rebounds.
The Blue and Red posted 19 assists on 25 made shots, and were led by junior Brooke Todd (Vevay, Ind.), who had eight helpers. Todd added eight points on three-of-four shooting as well.
Hanover will return to action at 1 p.m., next Saturday, Dec. 15, when the Panthers welcome Defiance to Collier Arena for the final Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference contest before the New Year.
Contact: Tyler Jester