HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover women's basketball team received double-double performances from juniors Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.) and Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) Wednesday evening during a 62-51 win over Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival, Earlham.
The Panthers' victory extends their longest winning streak of the season to four games and improves them to 10-4 overall and 6-1 in HCAC play. After Wednesday's results, Hanover is still in a three-way tie for first place in the league standings with Rose-Hulman and Transylvania.
Motter led the team with 18 points, while also grabbing 10 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season. Nall pitched in 15 points and a team-best 11 rebounds for her sixth double-double this winter. The juniors combined to shoot 11-of-19 (.579) from the field and 10-for-11 (.909) at the foul line. Nall also paced the Panthers with three steals defensively.
Senior Avery Chezem (Loogootee, Ind.) drew her first start of the season, scoring seven points on three-of-four shooting. Off the bench, junior Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.) pitched in eight points, four rebounds and three assists.
During a tightly contested first quarter, a frame that saw both teams shoot below 30 percent, Hanover received 12 points from Motter to capture a 14-11 advantage. The junior made three-of-five shots and netted five attempts from the charity stripe during the opening period.
Leading by just one near the midway point of the second quarter, the Blue and Red would rattle off 13 of the final 18 points, capped by a trey from junior Kristin Mills (Cincinnati, Ohio) in the closing seconds. Hanover led 31-22 at the intermission.
Outside of bookend baskets by the Quakers (4-10, 2-5 HCAC) in the third quarter, the Panthers outscored Earlham 16-5 in the frame, pushing its lead up to 47-31 with 10 minutes to play. The HC lead grew to as many as 18 points during the stretch for its largest lead of the night.
In the fourth quarter, Hanover never allowed Earlham to pull within single digits, as they made 6-of-10 field goal attempts to secure their sixth straight win by double figures over the Quakers.
Overall, HC shot .423 from the field, which included 50- and 60-percent efforts in the second and fourth quarters, respectively. The Panthers also assisted on 16-of-22 made field goals, with seniors Claire Cromer (Wabash, Ind.) and Macy Walker (Indianapolis, Ind.) leading the way with four dimes apiece.
The Panthers will now look to keep pace atop the HCAC standings this weekend when they welcome Anderson for a 4 p.m. contest Saturday, Jan. 12. The game will cap a men's-women's doubleheader inside Collier Arena.
Contact: Tyler Jester