Sophomore guard Alicia Hopkins (Columbus, Ind.) netted a game-high 16 points and had eight steals to help the Hanover College women’s basketball team defeat Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference-rival Franklin College, 60-55. The contest was held Wednesday, Dec. 5, in Franklin, Ind.
The win improves the Panther record to 4-1 and evens the Heartland Conference record to 1-1.
Senior forward Courtney Prater (Anderson, Ind.) added 15 points and 6 rebounds, scoring double digit points for the seventh-straight game. Dating back to the final game of last season versus Franklin, Prater is averaging 18.8 points.
The Panther defense again proved solid, collecting 19 steals and forcing 36 turnovers. Hanover took care of the ball offensively, only allowing 11 turnovers.
In a game of streaks, the Panthers opened up a 6-0 lead converting three straight turnovers into points off a Katie Gahimer (Greensburg, Ind.) jumper and two straight lay-ups by Hopkins.
A Lindsay Rich lay-up tied the game 8-8 at the 12:15 mark before Prater scored inside to spark a 10-0 Panther run.
The Grizzlies responded with 12-0 run as Nichole Thompson and Krista Schott both scored twice in the rally.
Hopkins quickly converted her own steal, tying the game at 22 with 1:03 left in the play.
Hanover regained the lead on consecutive trips to the free throw line as sophomore guard Caitlin Bischoff (Atlanta, Ind) and Prater each sank one of two shots.
The Grizzlies clawed back, as Lindsay Dall slipped through the Panther defense to knot the score at 24 at intermission.
The second half started in much the same manner, as the two teams traded buckets before another Hopkins steal and lay-up put the Panthers up 50-42 with 5:35 left to play. The eight point margin would prove to be the largest in the second half.
Franklin quickly fired back, reducing the Hanover lead to four at the four minute mark.
A Gahimer jumper inside the paint pushed the lead to 55-49 with 2:14 left to play before several Panther fouls reduced the lead to 58-55 with 39 second left in the game.
Gahimer found Prater for a quick bucket and the Panther defense forced a Franklin turnover to end play.
Nichole Thompson scored 15 points off the bench to lead Franklin.
Franklin enjoyed the rebounding advantage 46-29, while shooting 55.0% (22-40).
Hanover put up 74 shots, but only sank 23 on 31.1% shooting. After a rough first half from the free throw line, the Panthers hit 8-10 down the stretch to secure the victory.
Published Wednesday, December 5, 2012