Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - Despite a quartet of scorers in double figures, the Hanover women's basketball team was unable to stave off the no. 10 ranked Transylvania Pioneers, falling by a score of 85-68.
With the loss, the Panthers drop to 7-6 overall and 6-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic conference play. Meanwhile, Transylvania improves to 13-1 on the year with a 7-0 mark in league tilts. Seniors Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) and Kristin Mills (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished with 15 points apiece, while junior Savannah Courtney (Lawrenceburg, Ky.) racked up 13 points and a team-high five assists.
The contest started off slow for the Blue and Red, as they found themselves in a 6-2 hole early before Nall and senior Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.) registered buckets to claim a 7-6 advantage with 7:36 left in the first quarter. Transylvania responded to Hartman's three-pointer on the other end, but Mills matched it with another Panther trey to put the score at a 10-9 HC lead with 6:50 in the frame.
However, Transy would storm back, taking an 18-17 upper hand with 3:27 in the period. Though HC retaliated a minute later, the Pioneers outscored the Blue and Red 6-2 to close out the first quarter, en route to a 24-21 lead.
The second segment was opened up with a game-tying three from senior Brooke Todd (Vevay, Ind.) to knot the score at 24 with just under a minute gone by in the second. Transylvania senior Ashton Woodard buried a shot from deep to reclaim the Pioneer lead, but Courtney came back on the other end for HC with a layup, followed by a go-ahead make from Hartman with just over eight minutes to go until halftime. Transy, though, would embark on an 8-0 run between 8:03 and 6:17 to take a 35-31 advantage, and though Mills would immediately respond, Transylvania would close the half on a 15-9 run to take a 50-31 lead at the break.
The Pioneers began the third period by holding the Blue and Red scoreless for half the frame, while adding seven points to their lead. Todd hit a jumper with 4:56 in the quarter to halt the string, but Transy answered with another stretch of seven unanswered points between 4:56 and 0:25 in the third segment. However, HC would cash in on a three from Mills and Todd's layup to bring the score to 64-46 at the end of three.
For much of the fourth quarter, each squad traded buckets, with the Pioneers going up as much as 22 points, including once at 5:09 remaining in the contest. Nall would bring HC within 15 points on a pair of free throws with 2:40 to go, but Transylvania would hold on to close it out.
The Blue and Red will return to action in the second game of a men's and women's doubleheader at Collier Arena, with tip-off scheduled for 4 p.m., Saturday, January 18.