Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - On the heels of proficient shooting in the second and third quarters, the Hanover women's basketball team garnered a 77-52 victory over Mount St. Joseph on Wednesday evening.
The triumph marks the Panthers' fourth consecutive victory, and their seventh in the last eight outings. With the win over the Lions, their record improved to 11-6 overall with a 10-1 tally in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Meanwhile, MSJ drops to 5-13 on the year with a 4-7 slate in the HCAC.
In the first quarter, the Blue and Red were able to come out fast, scoring the contest's first seven points. With 7:09 in the period, and Hanover clinging to a 7-0 lead, the Lions struck back quickly, cutting the margin to 7-2 at 6:52 to go in the frame.
Beginning with a pair of free throws from senior Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.), HC would once again find themselves on a run, outscoring the Lions 6-1 between the 6:38 and 4:42 marks in the quarter to take a 13-3 lead. MSJ would not be put out, though: they went on a 17-5 spree of their own to take a 20-18 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
At the onset of the second quarter, HC had the ball taken away by Lions guard Maddie Haberthy, who converted on a layup to help MSJ to a 22-18 upper hand. Each squad would score on subsequent possessions to put the score at 23-20 in favor of MSJ, before senior Kristin Mills (Cincinnati, Ohio) hit threes on back-to-back possessions, putting HC up 26-25 with 7:48 until halftime.
After essentially exchanging buckets on the following two possessions, Hanover would outscore MSJ 10-2 between 6:41 and 2:38 to create a 38-28 gap, capped by a layup from freshman Callie Wilder (North Vernon, Ind.). Overall, from 6:41 to halftime, HC outscored the Lions 13-6, giving them a 41-32 advantage at halftime.
Following the break, the Panthers came out of the gates by outdoing MSJ 8-1 on the scoreboard to take command at 49-33 with 6:49 to go in the third. The Lions would answer with a two pointer at 6:25, but Hartman would respond by burying a trey to push a 52-35 lead for the Blue and Red. Senior Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) would put up nine of her 25 points inside the frame's final four minutes, aiding HC to a 63-47 lead to start the fourth quarter.
During the game's final period, Hanover outscored the Lions 14-5, and allowed Mount St. Joseph to shoot just 2-for-12 as they closed out the evening. Nall, along with junior Savannah Courtney (Lawrenceburg, Ky.) would provide four points each in the concluding quarter.
On the night, Alexis Nall lead HC with 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting, and added a team-high nine rebounds. Additionally, Kristin Mills had a career-best 17 points while hitting six-of-nine field goal attempts. Katie Hartman and Savannah Courtney each provided 10 points, giving HC four starters in double figures.
As a unit, the Blue and Red hit on 50 percent of their field goal attempts, and were nearly perfect from the line, going 19-for-22 from the charity stripe. The Panthers were also able to win the turnover margin 21 to 16, scoring 25 points off of the 21 MSJ giveaways.
Hanover will next take the floor when they hit the road to tackle HCAC rival Manchester, with action slated for 1 p.m., Saturday, February 1.