Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - The Hanover women's basketball team secured its eighth win in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in a nail biter with the Anderson Ravens, winning by a score of 65-63 at Collier Arena on Wednesday evening.
After surrendering the first points of the game to the Ravens (6-10, 2-7 HCAC), the Panthers (9-6, 8-1 HCAC) went on a 15 point tear. It began with a trip to the line for junior Savannah Courtney (Lawrenceburg, Ky.), who converted on one of two from the charity stripe. On the ensuing Anderson possession, Courtney jumped a pass and dished it to senior Brooke Todd (Vevay, Ind.) for a layup that would help Hanover take a 3-2 lead with around one minute gone by in the first quarter.
With a trey from sophomore Lexi Riggles (Danville, Ind.) the Blue and Red took a 15-2 advantage with 3:55 left in the frame. However, the Ravens would respond with a pair of three point buckets on back-to-back possessions to cut it to 15-8 at the 3:08 mark. Anderson would come within four points with around a minute to go in the quarter at 20-16, but sophomore Lanette Blume (St. Anthony, Ind.) put the Panthers back up by six. Both squads traded buckets until the end of the first, with senior Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.) getting the lead-extending bucket as the period expired to make it 24-18 in favor of Hanover.
The teams began the second frame by going back and forth in scoring, with the Blue and Red holding a 29-25 edge with seven minutes until the break. On the ensuing Panther possession, senior Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) cashed in from a pass from classmate Kristin Mills (Cincinnati, Ohio) to go up 31-25 with 6:30 to play. Mills would further extend the advantage on her next trip down the floor, when she hit a pair of foul shots to grab a 33-25 lead. The back and forth would continue to halftime, where the Blue and Red held a 39-32 upper hand.
Following the break, the Ravens came out fast, scoring four points inside the first two minutes to make it a 39-36 ballgame with 8:33 to go in the quarter. From here until the end of the frame, both programs essentially traded buckets, as the 42-36 lead became a 50-45 high ground for Hanover.
Anderson kicked off scoring in the fourth period, closing the contest to a 50-47 tally inside the first minute. Nall would respond with a basket at the other end, but the Ravens would draw contact on their ensuing possession, where they hit one-of-two free throws. Anderson continued to roll netting six unanswered points, tying the game at 54 points apiece with five minutes remaining.
Anderson would capture their first lead since the opening quarter with a trey from Jade Shipley that put the Ravens up 57-56 at the 4:17 mark. Following an empty possession for the Blue and Red, the Ravens would go down and sink a layup while drawing a foul. However, they would miss the opportunity to collect the old fashioned three.
During the HC possession that followed, Hartman made a layup fresh off a pass from Mills to cut the Hanover deficit to a 59-58 proposition. After a Raven miss, the Panthers corralled it and put it in the hands of Hartman once more, who buried the go-ahead jump shot to make it 60-59 in favor of the Panthers. But a Blue and Red turnover led to a Ravens score that put them on top 61-60.
Exactly 10 seconds later, Todd dumped the ball off to Hartman, who pulled up from behind the arc and drilled a three that would give HC a 63-61advantage. Shipley would once more respond for the Ravens to knot the game at 63 points apiece, before Courtney converted on a layup while drawing a foul to give the Panthers a favorable 65-63 tally, which they would hold onto for the victory.
Nall lead HC in scoring with 20 points while adding five rebounds on the night. Hartman would finish the night second on the Hanover stat sheets with 14 points, including seven in the game's final three minutes. Todd would notch 11 points along with squad-highs in assists (7) and steals (4).
The Blue and Red will conclude their week by hosting Defiance at 1 p.m., Saturday, January 25, in the first game of a men's and women's doubleheader.