Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - On a night that saw a balanced offensive attack for the Hanover women's basketball team, the Panthers garnered a 59-48 decision over Earlham for its fifth road win of the season.
With the victory, the Blue and Red improved to 15-7 overall, including an 11-4 mark in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Effectively, Earlham dropped to 8-14 overall and a 6-9 slate in league action.
The evening was highlighted by junior Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) reaching a milestone of 1,000 career points scored for the Panthers. The junior became the 15th player in program history to reach 1,000 points with 15 points and 15 rebounds on the evening.
The first quarter was a hotly contested affair, with three ties and four lead changes. After the Quakers took an early 4-0 lead inside the opening minute, neither squad was able to capture a larger lead in the period. By the end of the frame, the score was knotted at 17 points apiece.
The second period started with the same back-and-forth tone, and close to midway through, the Blue and Red held a narrow 24-22 advantage. However, the Panthers would close the last five minutes on an 8-2 run, broadening the margin to a 32-24 lead by halftime.
Coming out of halftime, both teams would once again match one another for much of the period, and with 2:54 left in the third the Blue and Red were ahead by a score of 39-31. From there, HC went on an 8-2 run on the heels of senior Avery Chezem (Loogootee, Ind.) and junior Kristin Mills (Cincinnati, Ohio), who each scored four points in the final stretch of the quarter.
By the fourth frame, Hanover held a 47-32 lead, and with 6:29 remaining in the game, Chezem made a pair of free throws to extend the gap to 17 points, the Blue and Red's largest lead of the contest. From there, the Panthers effectively held their advantage and garnered their 15th triumph of the year.
Chezem came off the bench for 13 points and a career-high nine rebounds, while shooting seven-for-eight from the free throw line. Mills added nine points and tied her personal-best with four steals, which paced HC. Junior Brooke Todd (Vevay, Ind.) notched eight points and led both squads with five assists.
Hanover gained particular edges in the paint, out-rebounding Earlham 45-37 while scoring 30 points in the paint to the Quakers' 24.
The Blue and Red will next take the floor against Manchester in the second game of a Senior Day doubleheader at Collier Arena, with tip-off slated for 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9.
Contact: Tyler Jester