By: Nick Taflinger, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team lost to a tough Hanover Panther squad by the score of 73-50 on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. The setback dropped the Beavers to 2-6 on the year (1-2 HCAC), while Hanover improved to 5-3 (2-1 HCAC).
The Panthers jumped on top with a quick 9-0 start. The Beavers clawed their way back into the game as they responded with a 17-5 jag for a 19-16 lead after a Tj Mills (Dayton/Chaminade-Julienne) old-fashioned three-point play and two Chelsea Moore (Delaware/Olentangy) makes at the stripe with 1:41 on the clock. Hanover came right back with five straight markers for a 21-19 advantage at the end of period one.
After a Kylie Brock (Villas Hills, Ky.) layup with 9:33 in the second quarter tied up the score at 21 apiece, the Panthers would go on a 10-0 spurt for a 31-21 lead. The teams traded scores the rest of the quarter as Hanover went to the break with a comfortable 44-32 spread.
The visitors started the second half in similar fashion to the first as they went on a 9-2 run, capped by two free throws from Maleha Motter with 6:29 left in the third. The Beavers managed to score just 11 points in the quarter while Hanover breezed to 25, making the score 69-43 at the end of three periods.
The fourth quarter was won by the Beavers as they scored seven to Hanover's four, but it was too little, too late with the Panthers cruising in for a 73-50 victory as everybody saw action for both team.
Mills was the only Beaver to crack double digits as she scored 13 and picked up three steals. Moore scored eight points off the bench while pulling down a team-high six rebounds. Brock added seven counters, going 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. Two freshmen netted six points: Brianna Gillig (New Riegel) and Emma Saltzman (Arcadia).
The Panthers were led by Maleha Motter who scored 20 points and snatched down 10 rebounds for a double-double. Alexis Nall bucketed 19 points, going 8-of-13 from the field, while pulling down nine boards. Katie Hartman was the other Panther who reached double digits as she scored 10 points for the victors.
The Beavers shot 17-of-49 from the field, making 34.7 percent of their shots. The Panthers made good on 25-for-59 from the floor for 42.4 percent. Bluffton connected on 3-of-11 from the three-point arc for 27.3 percent, while the visitors were 8-of-19 for 42.1 percent. The home team was outrebounded, 40 to 32, and committed 20 turnovers to Hanover's 16. The Beavers went 13-of-17 from the free-throw line for 76.5 percent. Hanover converted just 15-of-26 for 57.7 percent.
The next contest for the women will be against Franklin College on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 2 P.M. in the first game of a double-header at the Sommer Center as the men's team takes on the Grizzlies at approximately 4 p.m. Come out and support your Bluffton University Beavers!