Panthers’ Final Road Trips Take them to Anderson, Bluffton This Week

Panthers’ Final Road Trips Take them to Anderson, Bluffton This Week

Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter

HANOVER, Ind. - With just two weeks and four matchups left until the end of the regular season, the Hanover women's basketball team will have their final road games this week at Anderson (Ind.) and Bluffton.

The Panthers will commence the week by traveling to face the Ravens at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 12, before ending the slate with a 3 p.m. contest at Bluffton on Saturday, February 15. 

LAST WEEK IN REVIEW: With victories over Franklin and Earlham this past week, the Blue and Red sit at 14-6 overall, with a 13-1 record in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. HC has won seven straight contests, and 10 of its last 11, all coming in the HCAC. Over their unbeaten stretch, Hanover has averaged a 17.57-point margin of victory.

The Panthers started last week in Collier Arena, and improved their home record to a perfect 7-0 with a 70-64 triumph over Franklin. After HC trailed at several points, including early in the fourth, they found their way back through crucial late-game buckets. Senior Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) had 26 points and six rebounds to pace the Panthers in scoring. Hanover held a big advantage at the line over the Grizzlies, making 15-of-18 while only allowing one pair of Franklin foul shots.

In an early afternoon showdown with the Quakers on Saturday, first and third quarter runs proved too much for Earlham as Hanover earned the 70-52 win. Nall once again led HC with 27 points and added seven boards, while senior Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.) had 15 points. Senior Brooke Todd (Vevay, Ind.) dished out five assists and corralled six boards, aiding the Blue and Red to a 42-26 advantage on the glass.

ADDITIONAL NOTES: Over the week, Nall totaled 53 points on 21-for-31 shooting, which is her highest two-game stretch this year. For her efforts, the senior was recognized as the HCAC Athlete of the Week. On the season, Nall is averaging a career-best 6.2 defensive rebounds per appearance, along with 17.8 points per game and 8.9 total rebounds per outing.

With back-to-back tallies of 15 points, Hartman has now notched at least 10 points in six consecutive contests, which is her collegiate-high. Among her performances on this string was one of the best of her career, a 21-point afternoon against Defiance on January 25 in which she shot 9-for-12 and racked up all her stats in just 22 minutes.

Todd has been on a tear through the air, dishing out four dimes in seven straight matchups. Out of these seven, Todd has reached five or more assists on five occasions. Against Anderson on January 22, Todd had seven helpers while making four steals and totaling 11 points. For the evening, Todd only turned the ball over once.

As a unit, the Blue and Red are second in the HCAC in overall field goal percentage at a .422 mark, and they pace the pack behind the three-point line with a .363 efficiency rate. Their three-point shooting percentage, in addition to leading the HCAC, ranks seventh in NCAA Division III women's basketball. The Panthers also lead the league with 16.1 assist per game, which is 47th in Divison III, and are second in steals per game, averaging 11.2 forced errors.

SCOUTING ANDERSON: The Anderson Ravens are 9-12 this year with a 5-9 slate in the HCAC. In their matchup at Collier Arena earlier in the campaign, the Blue and Red survived a furious comeback attempt from Anderson, holding on for a 65-63 win. Hartman scored seven points in the final five minutes to help Hanover regain and secure the lead. 

This squad ranks second in the HCAC with 26.8 defensive rebounds per game and sits just behind HC in three-point percentage at a .323 clip. Sophomore Lexi Dellinger leads the Ravens with 14.1 points per game, while junior Hannah Hawkins is corralling a team-high 7.4 rebounds per contest.

SCOUTING BLUFFTON: The Bluffton Beavers currently hold a 11-10 overall record with a 5-9 mark in league action. The Beavers will square off against Manchester at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 12 before hosting Hanover. On January 11, HC won by a tally of 62-53. The Panthers rode a 25-7 start to the victory, as the Beavers were never able to fully close the gap from the first frame. Nall racked up 27 points and seven boards to lead HC.

Bluffton is led by sophomore Briana Gillig, whose 17.5 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game are both squad-bests for the Beavers.