HANOVER, Ind. – Behind 20 points from junior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) and a double-double from sophomore Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.), the Hanover women's basketball team improved to 2-0 at home this season, defeating Centre (Ky.) Saturday afternoon, 62-52.
Cromer led the way with 20 points, falling just one shy of tying a career high, which she set on Dec. 9, 2015. The junior did most of her damage from the charity stripe Saturday, where she made 8-of-10 attempts.
Motter grabbed double-digit rebounds for the first time this season, as her 15 boards set a new career record. The sophomore also scored in double figures for the fourth time this campaign, giving her the seventh double-double of her collegiate career.
Also adding double-digit point efforts for the Panthers (3-1) were sophomore Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) and senior Allison Nash (Speedway, Ind.). Nall posted 11 points, with Nash tallying 10 off the bench.
Overall, Hanover made just 55.3 percent of its attempts from the free throw line, going 21-of-38. The Blue and Red however, made seven of their final 10 attempts from the charity stripe to secure the double-digit victory.
With the contest tight early on, it was a 10-4 run by HC that gave them a 20-14 edge after the first period of play. Cromer scored five points in each of the first two quarters before adding seven in the final frame to help produce her season high total.
An offensively-challenged second quarter saw the two sides combine to shoot .296 from the field, but a 13-11 advantage for the Panthers gave them a 33-25 lead at the intermission.
Centre (3-1) was able to close the gap to four points, but a pair of free throws from Nash in the final second of the third quarter gave HC a 43-37 lead after 30 minutes of play.
The Colonels again closed the deficit to four points with the opening basket of the fourth stanza, but the Panthers scored 12 of the next 18 points to recapture a double-digit advantage on the scoreboard, 55-45, with 4:34 remaining. Hanover's free throw shooting down the stretch secured the team's first 3-1 start since the 2012-13 campaign.
Each side recorded eight assists in the game, with sophomore Brooke Todd (Vevay, Ind.) recording a team-high three helpers for HC. One other individual stat of note, comes from junior Morgan Bivins (Bloomington, Ind.), who grabbed a season high five rebounds in just six minutes of action.
Hanover enjoyed a 48-42 edge in total rebounds Saturday, with 17 coming on the offensive end of the floor. The Blue and Red used those opportunities to convert on 11 second chance points. Points off turnovers were also in favor of HC, 22-13.
The Panthers will look to continue the strong start to the season with a trip to No. 9 Trine (Ind.), Sunday, Nov. 26. The Thunder will welcome HC for a 4 p.m. tip in the second half of a back-to-back.
Contact: Tyler Jester