HANOVER, Ind. - Behind a dazzling performance from senior Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.), the Hanover women's basketball team garnered an 86-49 victory over Defiance on Saturday afternoon. The win advances HC to 10-6 on the year with a 9-1 slate in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Hartman lead the Blue and Red with a season-high 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting, while committing zero turnovers. Although the lone Panther in double figures, the contest featured scores from 13 of the 15 players on the HC roster. As a unit, Hanover shot nearly 52 percent from the floor, including six-of-nine from deep. Of their 32 made field goals, the offense generated 28 assists. Defensively, this squad allowed just 24 points in the paint, and amassed 14 steals out of the 24 Defiance turnovers.
The bout began with the Yellow Jackets quickly drawing a foul in the lane. On the ensuing trip to the line, they sunk one of two free throws, giving them an early 1-0 lead with just under a minute gone by. Hartman would get Hanover on the board at the 8:29 mark of the quarter, before later adding two more at 7:35 to go.
For much of the first five minutes of the frame, neither team was able to take command of the momentum. With Defiance leading 5-4 with 5:30 left in the period, senior Kristin Mills (Cincinnati, Ohio) took a trip to the charity stripe, where she would sink both shots to give HC a 6-5 advantage. From this point until the clock showed 2:28, the Panthers embarked on an 11-0 run; before the Yellow Jackets quieted the momentum around 1:18 remaining in the first, Hanover was on a 15-3 tear. This mid-quarter surge pushed a 19-9 lead for the Blue and Red, bolstered by six points and three rebounds from freshman Callie Wilder (North Vernon, Ind.) off the bench.
The second segment began with a trey from Hartman that would extend a 22-9 upper hand for Hanover, and would start a 7-0 scoring string, stopped at 7:10 when Taylor Day laid it up for the Yellow Jackets. For the next four possessions, each team would trade buckets, and by 5:37 the Panthers were ahead by a 30-13 margin. From here until the end of the half, the Blue and Red would steadily build upon their lead with a layup from Mills at 2:36 giving them a 25-point advantage, their biggest of the half. By the break, HC led by a 43-22 tally.
Much like she did to kick off the second quarter, Hartman notched a trio of points to start the third, but this time by converting on an and-one opportunity. This sparked a 9-2 run for the Panthers, and by 6:38 they held a 52-24 lead. This gap would gradually keep growing: at 4:57, a free throw from freshman Anna Bauer (Indianapolis, Ind.) put the Blue and Red ahead 56-26, and by the end of the frame, HC was up by a 65-31 count.
By the fourth quarter, the Hanover starting lineup was shut down for the evening. Sophomore Lexi Riggles (Danville, Ind.) knocked down a shot from behind the arc to begin the period for the Panthers, who would outscore the Yellow Jackets 21-17 in the final quarter to pull away with the win.
Riggles spearheaded the second unit with eight points, six of them coming in the fourth period. On the glass, junior Savannah Courtney (Lawrenceburg, Ky.) grabbed six rebounds and added eight points. Mills dished a team-high six assists on the day and provided six points.
The Blue and Red will next see action on the road to face Mount St. Joseph at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 29.