Hanover rally falls short in league opener

The Hanover College women’s basketball team’s six-game winning streak against Manchester University came to an end with a 76-73 loss in the squads’ Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener, Saturday, Dec. 1, in Collier Arena.

Sophomore guard Alicia Hopkins (Columbus, Ind.) netted 18 points for Hanover, which slipped to 3-1 overall and 0-1 in the league with the setback. Senior forward Courtney Prater (Anderson, Ind.) posted 15 points and a season-high 14 rebounds. Senior forward Katie Gahimer (St. Paul, Ind.) had 12 points and sophomore guard Shauna Watson (Fort Wayne, Ind.) added 10.

Freshman guard Katie Arterburn scored a game-high 19 points off the bench to lead four Manchester players in double figures. Sophomore forward Abby Lang added 12 points for the Spartans, which posted the squad’s first win of the season (1-4; 1-0 HCAC).

Manchester, behind five three-pointers in a three-minute span, surged ahead 34-23 with a 17-3 run late in the first period and led 37-31 at the break.

Hanover pulled within three points (39-36) in the opening 90 seconds of the second half. Arterburn, however, scored seven consecutive points to spark a 20-5 burst as the Spartans built a 59-41 lead with 13:27 to play in the game.

The Panthers made a charge with a 23-7 run through the next 10 minutes to trim the margin to two points (66-64) with four minutes on the clock.

Hannah Field scored twice from inside the paint to help the Spartans extend the lead to 74-66 with 2:10 to go.

Gahimer hit a short jumper, Hopkins followed with a bucket from inside, then added a three-pointer to cut the lead to 75-73 with 18 seconds remaining.

Manchester’s Caitlin Ailor hit 1-of-2 free throws with 17 seconds on the clock to nudge the lead to 76-73.

Hanover worked the ball around the perimeter in the game’s final possession. With time expiring, Hopkins was pressured on a long three-point effort which missed the mark.

The Panthers shot 26.5 percent from the floor in the first period (9-of-34) and finished the game 23-of-72 (31.9%). The squad hit 4-of-20 from beyond the arc (20%) and converted just 23-of-38 free throws (60.5%).

Gahimer added a career-high nine rebounds for Hanover, which earned a 52-40 advantage on the glass. Junior forward Elyse Weddle (Bloomfield, Ind.) added seven boards.

Hanover vs. Manchester statistics