TRUJILLO ALTO, Puerto Rico – The Hanover women's basketball team opened its international trip with a contest against Virginia Wesleyan Tuesday afternoon, a game that featured 16 ties and 27 lead changes. The Panthers though, fell to the Marlins in overtime, 75-73.
In Hanover's first extra-session game of the season, the 45-minute contest was played within a nine-point window, with Hanover's largest lead coming in the third quarter by four points.
Junior Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) paced the Panthers in scoring and rebounding for the second consecutive outing, tallying 20 points and 11 boards for her fourth double-double of the season. Classmate Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.) added 18 points and eight rebounds, while senior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) pitched in with 13 points. Cromer, who tied a career-high in steals last weekend against Defiance, set a new personal best with eight swipes Tuesday.
Trailing by four points with just over two minutes remaining in regulation, the Blue and Red rallied to take a 56-55 lead with 1:25 left in the period. Motter netted two free throws and Cromer added a three-pointer to put HC in front. Motter then added another two free throws to put Hanover (6-4) back in the lead, 58-57, with 1:07 showing on the clock.
Virginia Wesleyan (6-5) though, converted on a pair of attempts from the charity stripe late to tie the game at 59-all and send the contest to overtime.
In the extra frame, Hanover led just once, 62-61, after Nall converted on a three-point play with 4:48 remaining. The Marlins would go on to outscore the Panthers 16-14 in overtime to secure the win.
Junior Brooke Todd (Vevay, Ind.) converted on a free throw with four seconds remaining to pull HC within two points, but even after an offensive rebound on her second attempt, the Blue and Red did not have enough time to get a shot attempt off.
Todd was one of three players to score six points in the game, as she was joined by junior Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.) in the starting lineup and classmate Kristin Mills (Cincinnati, Ohio) off the bench. Hartman, as well as Motter, each had two blocks in the game.
Virginia Wesleyan enjoyed an advantage in field goal percentage, .406-.311. Hanover though, outscored the Marlins by 18 at the charity stripe, where they converted on 32-of-54 attempts. The Panthers also forced 29 VWU turnovers and converted them into 22 points.
The Blue and Red will look to bounce back quickly as they close out their Puerto Rico trip with a 2 p.m. (ET) contest against Alvernia (Pa.) Wednesday, Dec. 19.
Contact: Tyler Jester