Prater sets career high, but Panthers fall in OT

Hanover College’s women’s basketball team hit 32 free throws, forced 31 turnovers and got a career-high 28 points from senior forward Courtney Prater (Anderson, Ind.), but lost in overtime to Defiance College (Ohio), 85-80, Saturday, Dec. 8, in Defiance, Ohio.

The setback dropped Hanover to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Defiance, meanwhile, held on to post its fourth consecutive victory and improve to 4-3 overall and 3-0 in the league.

After trailing by 10 points midway through the second period, Hanover rallied down the stretch. Six different players scored as the Panthers used a 15-5 run to knot the game at 62-62 with 4:29 to play.

From that point, the squads were tied twice and exchanged the lead four times before heading to overtime tied at 68-68.

Defiance never trailed in the extra session. The Yellow Jackets’ Megan Zachrich opened the period with a three-pointer and eventually pushed the advantage to six points (79-73) on a jumper with two minutes on the clock.

Junior forward Elyse Weddle (Bloomfield, Ind.) scored from inside and freshman guard Ashley Malloy (Salem, Ind.) canned a three-pointer to later trim the margin to 80-78 with 41 seconds left.

Defiance countered with a three-point play from Ashley Birchmeier to extend the lead to 83-78 with 27 seconds to play. The Yellow Jackets sealed the decision with two free throws in the final 13 seconds.

Weddle matched her career best with 13 points off the bench, including eight in overtime.

Birchmeier, who netted seven points in overtime, led four Defiance players in double figures with 18 points. Zachrich and Kim Comden added 17 points apiece.

Hanover finished the game 23-of-70 from the field (40%), but hit just 2-of-17 three-pointers (11.8%). The Panthers hit 32-of-42 free throws (76.2%), including a 12-of-14 effort by Prater.

Defiance outrebounded Hanover, 50-42, but Hanover did gather 18 offensive rebounds which led to 19 second-chance points.

Prater hauled in a game-best 12 boards, while senior forward Katie Gahimer (St. Paul, Ind.) set a career high with 10.

Hanover at Defiance (Ohio) statistics