HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover women's basketball team will look to improve upon its current three-game win streak when they welcome Earlham and Anderson to Collier Arena this week.
SETTING THE SCENE: Riding its longest win streak of the season, Hanover will open the week with a 7:30 p.m. tip against Earlham on Wednesday, Jan. 9, before squaring off with Anderson at 4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12. Both games are set to take place at home.
- The Panthers are 9-4 overall and 5-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action. Hanover is currently tied for first in the HCAC standings with preseason favorites Rose-Hulman and Transylvania.
- The Blue and Red are coming off two wins last week, a 65-62 home decision against Rose-Hulman and an 84-53 rout at Manchester. The win over RHIT snapped the Engineers' 38-game win streak against HCAC opponents. Hanover had 13 players score in the win at Manchester last weekend.
- During the opening week of January, junior Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) averaged 20.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game, while shooting 68.0 percent from the field. Nall's performance earned her the first HCAC player of the week award of her career. In the Rose-Hulman win, Nall tied a career high with 29 points, while also grabbing 13 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the campaign.
- On the season, Nall is leading the team and ranks second in the HCAC in scoring at 17.1 points per game. The junior is also third in the league in rebounding, 8.8 per contest, and leads the league and ranks among the top 10 nationally in field goal percentage, .605.
- Junior Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.) is averaging a double-double this season at 14.3 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Her rebounding mark leads the HCAC, while her scoring total is second on the squad and eighth in the conference. Motter already has eight double-doubles this winter, which is just three shy of tying her career high that she set last season.
- Hanover is among the top teams in the country in terms of steals, leading the HCAC and ranking 23rd in Division III with 12.8 per game. Six different players are averaging at least one swipe per contest, with senior Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) leading the way at 2.6 per game. Motter is also averaging 2.0 steals per outing.
PANTHERS IN THE RANKINGS:
TEAM CATEGORY – STATISTIC (HCAC, NCAA RANKING)
Free Throw Attempts – 343 (1, 9)
Free Throws Made – 216 (1, 16)
Offensive Rebounds Per Game – 16 (1, 51)
Scoring Offense – 71.9 (2, 60)
Steals Per Game – 12.8 (1, 23)
Turnover Margin – 5.15 (2, 39)
Turnovers Forced Per Game – 21.85 (1, 48)
INDIVIDUAL CATEGORY – STATISTIC (HCAC, NCAA RANKING
Steals – 34 (2, 83)
Steals Per Game – 2.62 (2, 104)
Defensive Rebounds Per Game – 9 (1, 17)
Double-Doubles – 9 (1, 6)
Free Throw Attempts – 103 (1, 11)
Free Throws Made – 67 (1, 24)
Rebounds Per Game – 11.8 (1, 24)
Field Goals Made – 89 (1, 43)
Field Goal Percentage – 60.5 (1, 10)
Offensive Rebounds Per Game – 4 (1, 73)
Rebounds Per Game – 8.8 (3, 150)
Assist Turnover Ratio – 1.50 (3, 104)
Hanover has won 16 of 17 games against Earlham since the start of the 2006-07 season. The Panthers are 9-0 at home during the stretch. Currently, HC has won five straight in the series, all by double digits, including last season's HCAC Tournament Opening Round game, 69-58.
The Blue and Red have also enjoyed similar success against Anderson, holding a 20-7 record in the same time frame. Hanover has won 10 straight in the series with an average margin of victory of 23.3 points per game. Head coach John Jones is 6-0 against the Ravens.
SCOUTING EARLHAM: Under second year head coach and recent Hanover graduate, Shauna Watson, the Quakers enter the week with a 4-9 overall record and a 2-4 mark in HCAC competition. Earlham opened the New Year with losses to Transylvania (69-58) and Rose-Hulman (59-44) but did go 4-4 in the month of December. The Quakers are just 1-5 in true road games this winter, averaging 53.3 points per game, seven points under their season scoring average. EARLHAM STATISTICS
SCOUTING ANDERSON: The Ravens will travel to face Manchester Wednesday before trekking down to Hanover this weekend. Anderson is 7-6 overall and 3-3 in league play. The team is coming off a pair of wins last week, including a 75-73, double-overtime decision against Defiance. Anderson has won three of its last four HCAC outings, scoring at least 75 points in all three wins. Entering Wednesday's road game, AU has a 3-2 record away from home. ANDERSON STATISTICS
UP NEXT: The Panthers will hit the road for a pair of HCAC games next week. Hanover opens the stretch at Mt. St. Joseph with a 7 p.m. start on Wednesday, Jan. 16. The week concludes with a trip to Franklin for a 2 p.m. contest, Saturday, Jan. 19.
Contact: Tyler Jester