Massive comeback lifts Panthers in OT

Hanover College’s women’s basketball squad rallied from a 28-point second-half deficit to defeat Centre College (Ky.) in overtime, 80-77. The contest was played, Friday, Dec. 28, as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Montgomery, Ala.

Hanover trailed 56-31 at the intermission and 61-33 in the opening minute of the second period before mounting a massive comeback to claw back into the game.

The Panthers' defense limited Centre to just eight points the rest of the half. Meanwhile, senior forward Courtney Prater (Anderson, Ind.) scored 15 points and sophomore guard Alicia Hopkins (Columbus, Ind.) added 11 as Hanover outscored the Colonels 35-6 during an 18-minute stretch to take a 68-67 lead into the final minute of regulation.

Hopkins scored from inside to give the Panthers a one-point lead. Prater followed with a free throw to bump the margin to 69-67 with 45 seconds to go.

Centre, which shot just 13 percent from the field in the second half, used a pair of free throws from Paige Baechle with 28 seconds left to force overtime.

In the extra session, sophomore guard Caitlin Bischoff (Atlanta, Ind.) made a three-pointer to give the Panthers a 77-74 lead with 2:30 to play. Senior forward Katie Gahimer (St. Paul, Ind.) added a jumper to push the lead to 79-74 with 1:45 on the clock.

The Colonels' Maggie Hartlage scored from inside and added a free throw with 1:24 left to pull Centre within 79-77.

In the last 45 seconds, the Colonels missed two field goals before Gahimer snagged a rebound and was fouled with eight seconds to go. She hit 1-of-2 free throws for the final tally.

Centre’s three-point effort at the horn was off the mark.

Prater scored 23 points and Hopkins added 15  to lead Hanover, now 7-3 this season. Senior guard Natalie Morse (Mitchell, Ind.) had 13 points and matched her career high with six assists, while Gahimer notched 11 points and a team-high eight boards.

Baechle tallied a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds to pace Centre. Hartlage posted 23 points and Bridget Winstead added 12 for the Colonels (3-7).

Hanover vs. Centre (Ky.) statistics