The Hanover College women’s basketball team withstood a late charge and built a double-digit lead to top the College of Mount St. Joseph (Ohio), 72-54 in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference contest.
Junior Caitlin Bischoff (Atlanta, Ind.) and freshman Jessie Davidson (Lexington, Ind.) tied for game-high scoring honors with 18 points, marking the fifth-straight game Davidson has scored in double-digits.
Bischoff led the Panthers with eight rebounds.
Junior forward Megan Caudill (Richmond, Ind.) notched a career-high 16 points as the Panthers improved to 4-3 in Heartland Conference play and forged a three-way tie for fourth place.
Hanover’s defense held the Lions to 12-of-61 shooting (34.4%) and forced 30 turnovers. Junior guard Alicia Hopkins (Columbus, Ind.) collected a game-high eight steals as the Panthers grabbed 20 in total.
Hopkins added nine points and five assists, while classmate Shauna Watson (Fort Wayne, Ind.) dished six assists.
The teams traded leads for the first few minutes of the game before two Bischoff free throws sparked a 12-4 Hanover run, taking a 20-12 lead with 10:48 remaining in the first period.
Two consecutive Brilyn Webb buckets allowed Mount St. Joseph to cut the Hanover lead to five (25-20) at the 5:49 mark, but Hanover quickly rebuilt and held a double-digit lead over the next three minutes before a Webb three-pointer cut the Hanover lead to 37-30 at intermission.
The Panthers opened the second half with an offensive outburst with Bischoff and Davidson pushing Hanover to a 20-point lead (54-34) with 14:09 to play.
The Lions responded with a scoring run of their own, hitting a barrage of threes to outscore Hanover 17-4 over the next seven minutes.
With the Panthers' lead a slim 57-51 and only 6:13 to play, Davidson sank to two free throws and Watson scored off a Hopkins' steal to stifle the rally.
Hanover hit 7-of-8 free throws during the final 4:05 building a 70-51 lead with 1:06 remaining.
After a Meredith Hartfiel trey, freshman center Jenna Meyer (Greensburg, Ind.) hit a jumper from the left elbow to seal the 72-54 win.
Hanover, which posted its 11th straight win against the Lions, shot 75.8 percent (25-of-33) from the free throw line to improve their overall record to 6-8.
Mount St. Joseph fell to 1-13 and 1-6 in the HCAC.
Brooke Mosler led the Lions with 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds, while Webb added 12 points off the bench.
Published Wednesday, January 15, 2014