Panthers fall to No. 3 Ohio Northern in NCAA tourney

Hanover College’s women’s basketball squad lost to No. 3 Ohio Northern University, 86-68, in the first round of the NCAA III national tournament. The opening-round clash was played Friday, March 1, in Holland, Mich.

Senior forward Courtney Prater (Anderson, Ind.) scored 21 points to lead Hanover. Sophomore guard Alicia Hopkins (Columbus, Ind.) had 13 points and senior guard Natalie Morse (Mitchell, Ind.) added 10 for the Panthers.

Morgan Dumbaugh netted a game-high 22 points and Taylor Hermiller added 13 to pace four Ohio Northern players in double figures.

The victory was the 26th in a row for the Polar Bears, which advance in the tourney with a 27-1 record.

Hanover shot 42.1 percent from the field (24-of-57), including six three-pointers., and 14-of-18 from the foul line (77.8%). The Panthers, however, were outrebounded by a 43-25 margin and committed 15 turnovers.

Senior forward Katie Gahimer (St. Paul, Ind.) led Hanover with seven rebounds, while Prater pulled down five.

Morse scored seven points, while Prater and freshman guard Ashley Malloy (Salem, Ind.) added six apiece to keep the Panthers within 38-32 at the intermission.

Gahimer hit two buckets to help Hanover creep within 40-38 just two minutes into the second half.

The Polar Bears, fueled by six straight points by Hermiller, responded with a 12-1 run through the next two minutes to bolt into a 52-39 lead with 15:34 left in the contest.

The Panthers made a charge in the following seven minutes.

Hopkins scored eight points and Prater added five as Hanover cut the margin to eight points (65-57) with 8:20 on the clock.

Dumbaugh had five points, and Katie Mengos added a three-pointer to nudge Ohio Northern’s lead to 75-59 with 4:52 left. Tthe Panthers would not get closer than 14 points (75-61) the rest of the way.

The Polar Bears were 30-of-60 from the floor (50%), including a 9-of-20 effort from three-point range (45%). The squad was 17-of-22 at the charity stripe (77.3%).

Hanover, making its third appearance in the national tournament, finishes the season 21-8 to mark the program's school-record fourth-straight 20-win season.

The Panthers' senior class, including Prater, Morse, Gahimer, guard Katie Brewer (Jamestown, Ind.) and injured guard Amanda Trambaugh (Mitchell, Ind.), will graduate with the most wins of any class in school (87).

Hanover vs. Ohio Northern statistics