Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - In a road matchup that threatened to topple the Panther win streak, the Hanover women's basketball team was able to secure a 67-62 victory over Anderson on Wednesday evening.
The Blue and Red advanced to 15-6 with the victory and a 14-1 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference record. With the loss, the Ravens drop to 9-13 overall and 5-10 in the HCAC.
Anderson scored six of the bout's first eight points to take a 6-2 lead with 6:37 to go in the first, capped by a three from the Ravens' Payton Moore, who registered game-highs of 27 points and 12 rebounds. After back-to-back buckets from senior Kristin Mills (Cincinnati, Ohio), Hanover pulled it to an 8-7 deficit with around 5:30 to play. Anderson answered with a pair of consecutive baskets, with Hanover striking back to reel it within one possession. At 2:13, the Blue and Red gained their first lead off of a layup from senior Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) at a 15-14 tally. The squads traded blows to end the quarter, knotting the score at 18 apiece.
The second period began with a Nall lay-in to give HC the 20-18 advantage, but the Ravens struck right back to tie it up at the 8:18 mark. The scoring slowed between this point and 5:53, but the teams remained deadlocked, this time at 23 points each. At 5:46, senior Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.) cashed in on a pair of free throws to help HC regain the lead at 25-23. The Ravens took it down the floor and totaled four points after Payton Moore missed the second of her free throws, leading to a made three off an offensive rebound. The score was 27-25 in favor of AU at 2:44, but HC would get a four-point swing in the final two minutes to gain a 29-27 lead, capped by a three from senior Brooke Todd (Vevay, Ind.) as time expired.
Nall and Mills kicked off the second half with a pair of layups inside the first minute to help Hanover to a 33-27 lead with 9:14 on the clock. An 8-2 Raven run with just over seven minutes to play helped them knot the score at 35 apiece, and though the Panthers hit a pair of foul shots on their possession, another Anderson trey gave them a 38-37 upper hand with just 4:22 remaining in the third. This started a 9-0 run for AU, as they went up 44-37 in the frame. With under a minute to go, the Ravens still held a seven-point advantage until Nall buried a trey off a pass from Todd to help HC cut the deficit to 46-42 through three quarters.
The Blue and Red would start the quarter by drawing within one possession, as junior Savannah Courtney (Lawrenceburg, Ky.) made a couple of free throws to make it 46-44. Both squads exchanged two points in the eighth minute to keep the score at one possession, before a three from the Ravens' Jade Shipley gave Anderson a 51-46 upper hand. This was part of a string of seven unanswered points AU used to grab a 55-46 lead with 5:14 to go. Following a timeout, Hanover went on a 12-2 run, and at 2:20 regained the lead at a 58-57 tally off of an and-one from Courtney. With just over a minute remaining, Anderson would knot the score once more, but HC hit a pair of foul shots on their next possession and held on for the victory.
Nall led Hanover with 17 points and five rebounds, while Courtney added 16 points, including a six-of-seven mark from the free throw line. Additionally, Courtney paced HC with four steals. Todd finished with 12 points on a pair of three-pointers and a perfect six-for-six statline from the charity stripe. Rounding out the Panthers in double figures was Mills, who had 10 points and a pair of steals. Off the bench, freshman Callie Wilder (North Vernon, Ind.) added seven points.
As a unit, Hanover was outshot by the Ravens, and were outpaced on the glass by a margin of 35 to 19. However, they made up for this by winning the turnover battle 18-7; moreover, they converted the 18 Ravens giveaways into 20 points. The Blue and Red also had 10 steals, more than doubling the four that Anderson totaled.
HC will next take the floor on the road against HCAC rival Bluffton, with tip-off scheduled for 3 p.m., Saturday, February 15.