Balanced scoring effort assists Panthers in 91-66 rout of Franklin

Claire Cromer

FRANKLIN, Ind. – A sharpshooting performance led to a balanced scoring attack and a 91-66 road victory for the Hanover women's basketball team at Franklin Saturday afternoon.

On a cold wintery day, the Panthers (12-5, 8-2 HCAC) were hot from deep, making seven-of-11 three-point attempts in the first half to jump out to a 52-34 advantage at the intermission. Hanover would go on to make 10-of-18 (.556) tries from behind the arc, while also logging an overall shooting clip of .484 (31-64).

Leading a balanced scoring effort, with four players in double figures, was junior Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.). Motter scored 20 of her 26 points in the first half, while also pacing the Panthers in rebounds, 13, and steals, four. The junior added three assists as well.

Classmate Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) recorded 18 points and seven rebounds in the contest. Nall made five-of-seven field goals while also netting seven-of-eight shots at the charity stripe.

Also pitching in double-digit scoring tallies were junior Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.) and senior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.). Hartman scored 17 points, 12 in the first half, as she made three tries from deep. The duo of Hartman and Motter were a combined 7-of-10 from three-point territory.

Cromer pitched in with 13 points. The senior added a team-high six assists as well, which set a new career-high mark.

Trailing by one point early on, Hanover used an 11-0 run over a two-minute stretch to take a double-digit lead, 15-5, with 4:33 left to play in the first quarter. A Cromer layup put the Blue and Red up 27-12, but the Grizzlies (5-12, 3-7 HCAC) scored the final six points of the frame to close the gap to 27-18. The quartet of Cromer, Hartman, Motter and Nall combined for 25 first quarter points.

An 8-0 scoring spurt early in the second stanza put HC in front 38-20, which, at that moment, was its largest lead of the game. The 18-point edge was thanks in large part to HC making six of its first nine tries from deep. Hanover briefly led by 20 points in the first half before taking an 18-point advantage into the intermission.

The Blue and Red went on to outscore Franklin 45-32 in the second half to cruise to their fourth straight win over the Grizzlies. Hanover averaged 92.5 points per game in the regular season sweep of FC, while also enjoying an average scoring margin of plus-24.5 points per contest.

To go along with its shooting advantage, Hanover outgained the Grizzlies on the glass, 39-29. The Panthers added 16 offensive rebounds, which led to 19 second chance points.

Hanover, who has won six of its last seven games, will look to continue its strong play in January by welcoming HCAC-rival Transylvania at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 23.

Contact: Tyler Jester