Written by Sports Information Student Assistant Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - Senior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) co-lead the Hanover women's basketball team in scoring Saturday night as they cruised to an 84-45 victory over Manchester.
The Blue and Red advance to 16-7 overall and 12-4 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Spartans, meanwhile, fall to 4-18 overall, including a 2-13 league mark.
The Panthers jumped out to an early 5-0 lead with 9:13 on the clock, thanks to a pair of free throws by junior Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) and a three-pointer from junior Brooke Todd (Vevay, Ind.). The Spartans outscored HC eight to four in the succeeding four minutes, shrinking a five-point lead to a narrow 9-8 margin with 5:10 left in the first period.
However, Hanover made another 5-0 run on the back of sophomore Savannah Courtney (Lawrenceburg, Ky.), who scored five of her nine game points in the frame. By the 2:15 mark, HC held a 14-8 lead and would close the quarter up by a score of 16-12.
The first four minutes of the second quarter were almost basket-for-basket, and with 5:50 remaining in the period the Blue and Red were up 26-24. From then until halftime, the Panthers outscored the Spartans 14-4 en route to a 40-28 advantage at the half.
The third quarter began with each team going back and forth in scoring, and after a Manchester three-pointer with 8:21 showing, the score was 44-33 in favor of HC. Between then and 6:39, the Blue and Red went on an 8-0 run to take a 52-33 advantage. By the end of the frame, the score was 64-38 in favor of the Panthers.
The fourth frame was ruled by the reserves, who accounted for 16 of the 20 Hanover points. Freshman Lexi Riggles (Danville, Ind.) paced the squad with five points in the period on two-of-two shooting, while junior Holly Kallmeyer (Covington, Ky.) added four more to help HC to its fourth conference win in their last five contests.
Cromer and Nall each scored 14 points on the evening to pace the Panthers. Seniors Morgan Bivins (Bloomington, Ind.) and Avery Chezem (Loogootee, Ind.) each had three steals and eight points in their Senior Day appearances. Chezem also dished out four assists to co-lead the Panthers along with Todd.
Nall tallied 18 rebounds in the contest, which helped lead Hanover to a 50-35 edge on the glass. The junior had 10 of her boards on the offensive end, as she now has four games this season with 15 or more rebounds. Hanover shot 47.7 percent from the floor, while also holding the Spartans to a .274 shooting clip. Additionally, HC enjoyed a 42-10 advantage in paint points and a 22-8 edge in points off turnovers.
Hanover will be back in action at Collier Arena for the final time this regular season as they take on Mount St. Joseph. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Contact: Tyler Jester