Junior Megan Caudill (Richmond, Ind.) scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, notching her first career double-double as the Hanover College women's basketball team defeated the College of Mount St. Joseph (Ohio), 79-71.
Freshmen Jessie Davidson (Lexington, Ind.) and Jenna Meyer (Greensburg, Ind.) added season-high point totals of 22 and 10, respectively, as the Panthers improve their record to 10-8 overall and 8-3 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Hanover led at the half, but were down as much as six points on two separate occasions.
Caudill scored in the paint to break into the scoring column for the Panthers at the 18:45 mark, but the Lions hit two quick three-pointers to take a 6-2 lead just 1:33 into the game.
The team traded buckets with Caudill scoring on consecutive possessions and junior guard Alicia Hopkins (Columbus, Ind.) following with a lay-up of her own to pull within 10-8 at the 16:14 mark.
Tara Dennis would score twice in a row before Hanover opened up a 22-8 run, punctuated by a Cailtlyn Bischoff (Atlanta, Ind) lay-up to secure a 30-22 lead with 3:11 remaining in the half.
Mount St. Joseph threatened several times over the next few minutes, but Meyer sank two free throws and Caudill hit a trey with just over a minute to play to take a 35-29 lead into halftime.
Hanover shot 14-of-30 (46.7 percent) from the field during the first period and were a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
The hot shooting continued in the second half as the Panthers hit 68.2 percent (15-of-22) from the floor.
Hanover held the margin for the next nine minutes before Heidi McManus sank three free throws to cut the Panther lead to 53-49.
Bischoff hit a three-pointer and sophomore guard Ashley Malloy (Salem, Ind.) followed with a free throw of her own to stifle the Mount St. Joseph rally.
The Lions, however, were not done yet, as McManus hit three more free throws to spark an 8-0 run.
With the second three by Chelsea Castleberry, the Panthers fell behind 58-57 with 6:51 to play.
On the next play, Davidson was fouled while scoring in the lane. She sank the ensuing free throw and the Panthers secured the lead (58-60) at the 6:33 mark.
Castleberry scored inside the lane on the next play, but Caudill scored on her next two possession and the Panthers never trailed again.
Davidson scored seven points over the final 4:28 to clinch the victory.
Hopkins scored nine points and dished four assists, while classmate
Shauna Watson (Fort Wayne, Ind.) distributed five assists of her own.
Hanover forced 23 turnovers and won the rebounding battle with a 37-23 advantage.
McManus led the Lions with 22 points, while Dennis added 17 points.
Mount St. Joseph falls to 2-16 overall and 2-9 in the Heartland Conference.
Published Wednesday, January 29, 2014