Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - In a contest dictated by numerous mid-quarter scoring runs, the Hanover women's basketball team secured a 70-52 win over the Earlham Quakers on Saturday afternoon.
With the triumph, the Panthers advance to 14-6 overall with a 13-1 record in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. On the flip side, Earlham slides to 5-16 on the year with a 4-10 mark in league play. Senior Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) spearheaded the Blue and Red with 27 points, while senior Zoe Curtis led the Quakers with 13 points.
At the onset of the bout, Earlham scored four straight points and six of the game's first eight to put Hanover in an early 6-2 hole with 7:08 to go in the quarter. Nall would cash in on a jumper the next time down the floor, but the Quakers responded right back to put the tally at 8-4 in their favor.
Beginning with a make from senior Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.) with 6:12 to go in the quarter, HC embarked on a 14-2 scoring run, on which Hartman was responsible for six points. The string was bookended by sophomore Liz Tynan (Columbus, Ind.), whose lay-in put the Panthers up by a score of 18-10 with 2:02 left in the frame. For the remainder of the period, the clubs went back and forth, with Hanover holding a 22-13 advantage at the end of one.
Scoring opened in the second frame on a Nall layup, which propelled HC to their first double-digit lead of the afternoon at 24-13 with 8:49 until halftime. However, free throws from Curtis and a layup from junior Kayla Bowling at 7:10 cut the Hanover lead to 24-17 with 7:10 to go. However, the Blue and Red would quickly regain their composure after senior Kristin Mills (Cincinnati, Ohio) buried a three-pointer at 6:53 to make it a 27-17 Panther tally. A one-for-two trip to the line, followed by a layup from freshman Cambie Pool would help Earlham reel it to 27-20 with 5:53 until the half.
However, from then until 1:01, the Hanover defense held the Quakers scoreless, while going on an 8-0 run. By the time Bowling hit a foul shot to stop the bleeding, the Panthers had a 35-21 upper hand. Earlham would end the half on a high note, though, as Curtis hit a layup as the buzzer rang to make it a 35-23 margin in favor of Hanover.
To start off the third, freshman Trinity McClendon hit a jump shot to put the score at 35-25 with under a minute gone by. Nall quickly answered with a layup of her own, as did Courtney at 8:01 to help HC to a 39-25 edge with 8:01 to play in the frame. Beginning at 7:55 with a made free throw from senior Amy Weisner, the Quakers went on a 7-0 run, capped by a trey from Bowling at 6:01 to cut the HC lead to a 39-32 advantage. Between 4:09 and 1:55, the Blue and Red responded by outscoring Earlham 10-3 to go up 48-35, capped by an and-one from Nall. By the end of the period, HC held a 51-39 lead.
The two squads traded baskets for most of the first two minutes of the quarter, before a trey from Nall gave Hanover a 58-43 upper hand with 8:06 to go. Weisner shot back with a three of her own for Earlham, but Mills would answer with a layup to make it 60-46 with 7:01 to play. After Curtis went one-for-two from the line, HC rifled off five unanswered points between the six and five minute marks to push a 65-47 advantage. From here until the end of the contest, the two teams combined for five points as Hanover held on for the victory.
Behind Nall's 27 points and team-high seven rebounds, Hartman notched 15 points, while Mills put up 10 points and three assists. Although held scoreless, senior Brooke Todd (Vevay, Ind.) grabbed six rebounds and dished out five dimes to pace the Panthers. Junior Savannah Courtney (Lawrenceburg, Ky.) put up seven points while corralling six boards. On the glass, Hanover held a 42-26 upper hand, and on 24 Earlham turnovers they were able to rack up 22 points.
The Blue and Red will next take the court in a conference matchup at Anderson (Ind.), with tipoff set for 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 12.