Final 90 seconds difference at Bluffton

Hanover College’s women’s basketball team was outscored 10-0 in the final 90 seconds as Bluffton University (Ohio) pulled away for an 81-71 win in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tilt in Bluffton, Ohio.

Freshman guard Jessie Davidson (Lexington, Ind.) scored on a short jumper with 1:34 left to knot the game at 71-71. From that point, Hanover missed three field goal attempts and turned the ball over three times down the stretch. Bluffton, meanwhile, hit 2-of-3 field goals and converted 6-of-7 free throws to scratch out the double-digit victory.

Junior guard Alicia Hopkins (Columbus, Ind.) scored 15 points and classmate Megan Caudill (Richmond, Ind.) notched a career-high 14 off the bench to pace the Panthers, now 5-8 overall and 3-3 in the HCAC.

Davidson finished with 12 points and junior Caitlin Bischoff (Atlanta, Ind.) added 11, while junior Shauna Watson (Fort Wayne, Ind.) dished out seven assists.

Taylor Whitaker scored a game-high 17 points to lead six Bluffton players in double figures. Brooke Ruffer tallied 14 points and a game-best 11 rebounds for the Beavers (8-5; 4-2 HCAC).

Caudill scored seven points and Bischoff tallied six as Hanover built a 31-20 lead with 4:20 to play in the first period. Bluffton countered with a 12-0 run to snatch a 32-31 lead before sophomore guard Ashley Malloy (Salem, Ind.) canned a three-pointer just prior to the horn to give the Panthers a 34-32 lead at the intermission.

Hopkins and Caudill came out of the gate hot in the second half.

Hopkins netted 12 points and Caudill added back-to-back three-pointers as Hanover jumped out to a 57-47 lead seven minutes into the frame.

Bluffton, however, chipped away at the deficit. Whitaker scored nine points as the Beavers eventually claimed the lead at 60-59 with 8:23 on the clock.

The squads were tied three times and remained within two possessions of each other until Bluffton’s game-clinching run in the final 90 seconds.

Hanover was 22-of-63 from the floor (34.9%) and 8-of-22 from three-point range (36.4%). The team was 19-of-28 from the foul line (67.9%).

The Panthers were outrebounded by a 43-39 margin, but did pull down 14 offensive boards. Davidson and freshman center Jenna Meyer (Greensburg, Ind.) led the squad with seven rebounds apiece.

Hanover at Bluffton (Ohio) statistics