First quarter scoring frenzy leads Panthers to rout over Anderson

Maleha Motter

ANDERSON, Ind. – Behind a stellar offensive start, the Hanover women's basketball team cruised to an 86-54 rout over Anderson Saturday afternoon in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action.

Hanover's hot shooting first quarter saw the team make 13-of-18 attempts from the field, a .722 clip. The Panthers also used an 11-2 spurt to push their advantage to an 11-point margin, 20-9, with 3:44 showing on the clock. At the conclusion of the first, HC led 31-15. Hanover's 31 points tied a season-high for the first quarter.

Junior Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) was key in HC's strong start, as she scored 11 of her 15 game points over the first 10 minutes. The junior made five of her first six field goal attempts, while also adding 10 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season.

A defensive second quarter saw both teams in single figures until the end. A 9-2 run, capped by a Nall layup, gave the Blue and Red their largest lead of the half, 22 points, at 42-20, with 3:26 left in the quarter. After Anderson (9-12, 5-9 HCAC) made two-of-three free throws with no time showing on the clock, HC led 44-26 at the break.

The Ravens cut the deficit to as little as 17 points early in the third stanza before an 8-0 run by the Panthers gave them a 57-32 lead with 6:24 remaining in the period. Hanover would lead by 20-plus point for the remainder of the contest. The Blue and Red led by as many as 32 points, which was the final margin, 86-54.

Junior Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.) paced the Panthers with 21 points. Motter tallied 19 of her team-high total in the second half on five-for-seven shooting. The junior also finished 10-for-10 at the charity stripe. Motter came close to her 16th double-double, finishing with nine boards.

Off the bench, sophomore Savannah Courtney (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) gave the Panthers three players in double figures with 12 points. Courtney made 6-of-8 field goal attempts. Junior Kristin Mills (Cincinnati, Ohio) added eight points as a reserve, leading HC to a 36-14 edge in bench points.

The Blue and Red cooled off after the first quarter but still finished with an overall shooting percentage of .457. The defense held the Ravens to a .375 mark. Hanover also enjoyed a 28-2 edge in points off turnovers and 20-0 advantage in fast break points.

Five different players for HC recorded multiple steals, including Nall and freshman McKenzie Messmore (Bedford, Ind.), who had three apiece. Senior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) tallied two swipes, while also pitching in with seven points, four rebounds and three assists. Senior Avery Chezem (Loogootee, Ind.) notched a team-best four helpers off the bench.

The Blue and Red, winners in eight of their last 11 overall, will cap a brief three-game road stretch with a trip to Earlham next Wednesday, Feb. 6. The Panthers and Quakers are slated for a 7:30 p.m. tip.

Contact: Tyler Jester