Third Quarter Spark Sends Hanover past Spartans

Kristin Mills

Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter

HANOVER, Ind. - After a first half stalemate, the Hanover women's basketball team secured an 80-64 victory over Manchester on Saturday afternoon. 

In this Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference bout, the Panthers (12-6, 11-1 HCAC) captured their fifth consecutive win; in their last nine outings, they've come out on top on eight occasions. Four players from the Blue and Red wound up in double figures, highlighted by senior Kristin Mills (Cincinnati, Ohio) who put up 20 points. Mills has surpassed her single-game scoring high in each of her last two appearances: against Mount St. Joseph on Wednesday, she tallied 17 points.

HC was able to strike first in the opening period via buckets from junior Savannah Courtney (Lawrencrburg, Ky.) and senior Brooke Todd (Vevay, Ind.) that gave Hanover the early 4-0 lead with just two minutes gone in the period. However, Manchester (8-11, 5-7 HCAC) responded with a three pointer, which would start the back and forth action. 

The Panthers remained on top until Macy Miller hit a go ahead layup with 4:40 remaining in the first. A make from behind the three point arc at 3:36 put the Spartans up by a 12-8 tally on their subsequent possession. Hanover would storm back with a 7-0 run to take a 15-12 lead after sophomore Liz Tynan (Columbus, Ind.) knocked down a trey with 1:41 to go in the quarter. Manchester would outscore the Blue and Red to end the frame, with the score deadlocked at 16 apiece to start the second. 

The squads exchanged one bucket each in the first two and a half minutes of the period, before senior Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) hit a three to extend a 21-18 Hanover advantage with 7:02 until halftime. At 5:51, a make from senior Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.) put the tally at 23-18 in favor of HC. The Panthers would go up by as much as eight points in the half. However, the Spartans fought back to shorten the gap and took a narrow 37-36 upper hand going into the break.

Following intermission, the Blue and Red scored the first seven points capped by a trey from Todd with 7:53 to play. Hanover held a 43-37 advantage, and they were able to go up by a score of 50-41 with 5:46 on the clock off a pair of Mills free throws. Manchester brought it back to a 52-48 spread but the Panthers went on a 9-4 spurt to end the quarter with a 62-51 lead. 

The Blue and Red got buckets from Courtney and Hartman at 8:46 and 8:09 to make it a 65-51 upper hand, and they held the Spartans without a score for more than three minutes to start the fourth. From there, Manchester was never able to bring it within single digits, as the Panthers secured the victory. 

Mills' 20 points lead HC, and she was one of four in double figures. Nall and Courtney each had 14 while Hartman notched 15 points. Courtney, Nall and Todd each grabbed seven rebounds, aiding HC to a 41-26 advantage on the glass. On offense, Hanover shot close to 55 percent while holding Manchester to just under 33 percent from the floor. 

The Panthers will next take the floor when they host Franklin, with action slated for 7 p.m., Wednesday, February 5.