Senior forward Katie Gahimer (Greensburg, Ind.) notched career highs in points and rebounds as the Hanover College women’s basketball team attempted to battle back from a double-digit deficit late in the second half against Transylvania University (Ky.). The Panthers pulled to within one point with just under 2:30 to play, but fell 61-55 to the Pioneers, Wednesday, Feb. 13, in Collier Arena.
Gahimer scored a game-high 19 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked three shots in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tilt.
The loss drops the Panther record to 17-7 overall and 11-6 in the Heartland Conference.
Sophomore guard Alicia Hopkins (Columbus, Ind.) finished just shy of a triple-double, scoring 10 points to accompany eight rebounds and eight steals. The eight steals push her school single-season record to 105.
Senior forward Courtney Prater (Anderson, Ind.) tied Gahimer for team-high rebounding honors and scored eight points.
Both teams struggled from the field in the first half, with Hanover shooting 23.5 percent (8-of-34) and Transylvania 32.4 percent (11-of-34).
Transylvania guard Madisen Webb hit 50 percent from the field to pace the Pioneers with 12 first-half points. Webb scored eight points in a 2:42 period as Transylvania jumped out to a 16-10 lead at the 10:40 mark.
The Pioneers scored on the next possession and appeared to have Hanover on the ropes.
However, Gahimer answered with a three at the 9:09 mark to pull within points (18-13) and classmate Natalie Morse (Mitchell, Ind.) followed with a steal and fast-break lay-up to keep Hanover within striking distance.
Transylvania’s Nicole Coffman hit a jumper with three seconds left in the half to take a 26-22 advantage into the locker room.
The Pioneers found their offensive rhythm early in the second period as Coffman scored nine points in the first 10 minutes to spearhead a 22-12 run.
Gahimer scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the second period, helping to cut a 48-36 deficit.
Following two Coffman free throws a the 9:42 mark, Gahimer scored on the next trip down the floor and then blocked a shot on the other end.
After setting up the Hanover offense, sophomore point guard Shauna Watson (Fort Wayne, Ind.) found Gahimer in the paint for a quick jumper and freshman guard Kelsey Block (Madison, Ind.) followed with a deep three to pull within five at the 8:19 mark.
Transylvania answered with a quick lay-up, but Hanover refused to settle as Gahimer hit another jumper and Hopkins snagged a crucial steal that lead to a Watson fast-break lay-up.
With the margin cut to three (50-47) at the 7:05 mark, both teams went cold. Neither team managed to score until two consecutive Alex Botkin lay-ups put Transylvania up 47-54 with 3:23 remaining.
On the next possession, Block found Gahimer for a three-pointer from the wing. Hanover forced a turnover on the next play and Hopkins dished to Prater in the paint to cut the lead to 54-52.
With limited time remaining, the Hanover were forced to foul and Transylvania hit five free throws in the final 2:11 to secure the victory.
The win guarantees Transylvania at least a share of the Heartland Conference title as the Pioneers improve to 19-5; 15-2 HCAC.
Transylvania had four players reach double digits, despite only shooting 33.3 percent (23-of-69) from the field. Botkin scored 17, while Webb notched 16. Coffman and Alex Mackenzie scored 11 and 10, respectively.
Hanover shot 30.4 percent from the floor (21-of-69) and out-rebounded the Pioneers, 50-47.
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013