Seniors Natalie Morse (Mitchell, Ind.) and Katie Gahimer (Greensburg, Ind.) combined for 25 points, but the Hanover College women’s basketball was unable to withstand a late second-half push from Franklin College, losing 62-56. The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tilt was held Wednesday, Jan. 30, in Collier Arena.
Hanover quickly found the net to start the game, first scoring at the 19:01 mark.
A Gahimer three-pointer pushed Hanover to an early 3-0 lead and the Panther defense held Franklin to four points in the first six minutes before a Krista Schott lay-up pulled the Grizzlies within one point (7-6) at the 13:28 mark.
Hanover responded with a 7-2 run highlighted by an Alicia Hopkins (Columbus, Ind.) steal and fast-break lay-up to put Hanover ahead 14-8 with 10:19 left in the first half.
Hopkins, a sophomore guard, finished with five of the 12 Hanover steals to accompany seven points.
Franklin chipped away at the lead for the remainder of the half, but a three-pointer and two free throws from Morse in the final three minutes lead the Panthers to a 29-22 halftime lead.
Hanover hit 11-of-13 (84.6%) free throws in the first half, but only shot 25.0% (8-of-32) from the field as the team struggled to become untracked offensively despite collecting six steals and forcing 14 turnovers.
Gahimer again started the Panther scoring in the second half, hitting a lay-up in the lane.
Franklin’s Lindsay Rich sank a jumper to cut the Hanover lead to 31-24, but the Panthers quickly jumped out to a 12 point (36-24) off back-to-back baskets from Gahimer and senior forward Courtney Prater (Anderson, Ind.).
Hanover held the double-digit lead before eight points by Annie Tarkington sparked a 14-3 Grizzly run.
Tarkington drove through traffic to put Franklin up 48-47 with 6:57 to play.
Both teams missed shots on ensuing possessions before Gahimer collected a Prater miss and was fouled in the act of shooting.
Gahimer sank both, regaining a slim 49-48 lead with 5:45 remaining.
Franklin responded with a quick bucket, before Morse scored two consecutive baskets putting the Panthers ahead 53-50 with 4:48 left in the game.
Tarkington, however, again hit from three-point range to tie the game at 53-53 on the following play.
Several miscues limited the Hanover offensive set over the next few possessions before Prater scored the final Panther points from the floor, hitting a spinning lay-up to tie the game (55-55) with 3:07 left.
Hopkins hit the front end of a pair of free throws to notch the final Panther point and Hanover was forced to foul in attempt to regain possession.
Franklin hit five-of-six free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach.
The loss drops the Hanover record to 15-5 and 9-4 in the HCAC. Franklin moves ahead of the Panthers to claim sole possession of second place in the Heartland Conference standings.
Lead by Jess Prewett’s game-high 11 rebounds, Franklin out-rebounded Hanover 42-32.
Prewett also scored a game-high 17 points, while Schott and Tarkington added 10 and 13 each.
Hanover shot 30.2 percent (19-of-63) from the field and 71.4 percent (15-of-21) from the charity stripe.
Published Wednesday, January 30, 2013