Comeback attempt falls short for women's basketball against No. 25 Transylvania

Avery Chezem

Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter

HANOVER, Ind. - In an effort that saw the Hanover women's basketball team swipe 13 passes and out-rebound the Pioneers 45 to 37, the Panthers fell to No. 25 Transylvania by a score of 78-70 Wednesday evening, inside Collier Arena.

Junior Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) paced HC with 19 points and 15 rebounds, including 10 boards on the defensive glass. Nall also added a personal and team-high five steals while dishing out three assists. Complementing her efforts was classmate Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.), who posted 10 points and 10 rebounds, with nine grabs on the offensive end.

Senior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) notched eight points, hitting two-of-three from behind the arc, while intercepting five balls to lead the Blue and Red in steals. Coming off the bench, senior Avery Chezem (Loogootee, Ind.) had six points and tied her career-best with six dimes.

The Panthers (12-6, 8-3 HCAC) jumped out to an early 8-0 lead against the Pioneers after junior Kristin Mills (Cincinnati, Ohio) hit a three-pointer with 7:06 left in the opening frame. However, HC would get outscored 19-9 for the remainder of the period, and they narrowly trailed Transylvania (16-2, 10-1) by a count of 19-17 after one quarter.

The second frame began with another Pioneer run, this one amounting to a 12-2 run. At the 6:48 mark, Transylvania was ahead 31-19. By halftime, the scoreboard read 38-24 in favor of the visitors.

The third period saw each team shoot lights out, and the Blue and Red chipped away the deficit by three points in the high-scoring ten minutes. Cromer hit both of her threes in the third and Chezem did most of her damage in the period as well. After the two sides combined for 53 points, HC trailed 63-52 with 10 minutes left to play.

The fourth frame was bucket-for-bucket for most of the first chunk, and with 4:20 remaining in the contest Hanover was behind 69-56. A turnover by Transylvania led to a trey by junior Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.), making it a 10-point ballgame with 3:59 left. The Pioneers would once again add to their lead, taking a 71-59 advantage with 3:33 on the clock.

After drawing a foul with 2:01 left, Nall made a pair of free throws to bring it within 10 once again. Her subsequent steal on the inbound led to a made layup by junior Savannah Courtney (Lawrenceburg, Ky.) that had it a 71-63 margin with 1:27 to go. Cromer would nab steals on the next two possessions, with each takeaway leading to points from Nall. With 24 seconds remaining, Nall pushed the score to 72-69, but Transylvania would secure the matchup with free throws down the stretch.

For the day, Transylvania shot 47.5 percent, with a 10-for-15 statline in the third quarter that produced five makes on seven attempts from three-point range. Meanwhile, the Panthers put up a clip of .343 from the field. Moreover, the Blue and Red assisted on 19 shots to the Pioneers' 14 and grabbed 13 steals to Transylvania's seven.

Hanover will look to regain its traction this weekend when the team host conference-rival Bluffton. The Panthers will square off in the second game of the men's and women's doubleheader, with tip-off scheduled for 4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26. 

Contact: Tyler Jester