Hanover used balance scoring and a ferocious defense to dominate Earlham 72-53 in women's action Saturday at Collier Arena.

The Panthers had four players in double figures and forced 40 turnovers as they bounced back from a tough lost on the road to Transylvania on Wednesday.  

"We needed the win after that the loss at Transy," Hanover coach Molly Jones said. "Bouncing back like that was good. We were pleased with everything except our turnovers. Obviously 37 turnovers is not acceptable and we felt like we were doing what we needed to do, to turn them over, but then we weren't taking care of the ball ourselves and turned it right back over. Making bad decisions and bad passes. So we really got to focus now and try to fix that. Other than that we were pleased with our intensity because we didn't have that Wednesday night. We had that tonight."

With just over eight minutes to go in the first half, the Panthers held a 24-3 advantage over the Earlham Quakers The Panthers' pressure defense had forced 17 turnovers at that point and senior Courtney Prater scored eight of her team high 12 points during that stretch.

Jones knew that her team had a chance to truly make the game ugly and instead opted to pull back the reigns.

"At that point you have to make a decision: Do you keep doing what you're doing and turn that into 50-4 or not," Jones said. "We started subbing some, made some changes on our pressing and that sort of thing. We didn't want to completely demolish a team, that's not what were about. I love their coach; I love what she's doing with those kids. She's trying to build a program. Especially in the second half, we played everybody.

"We were able to work on some things we definitely needed to work on."

Earlham (2-13, 1-7 Heartland) trimmed the deficit to 27-12 with 5:27 left in the half however the Panthers ended the half strong and took a 45-22 lead into the half.

Hanover (11-4, 5-3 HCAC) out rebounded Earlham 23-13 forced 25 turnovers and held them to 33 percent shooting. Prater and Alicia Hopkins each had 10-points at the half to lead the Panthers.

Hanover opened the second half with a 12-4 run to push the lead to 57-26 with 14 minutes left in the game.

Earlham responded with a run of their own. Karmell Brown hit a pair of jumpers in the lane and added a short jumper as the Quakers used an 11-0 run to trim the Panthers' lead to 57-37 with 11:17 remaining.

The Quakers pulled to with 19 points twice but never got any closer and Earlham lost for the fifth straight time to Hanover. The Quaker had two in double figures: Kiara Scott's game high 13 points and JaLissa Watt with 10.

The Panthers were led by Prater's 12 points, and Hopkins, Katie Gahimer and Elsye Weddle each had 10 points. Natalie Morse finished with nine.

"I think that's important too. We don't want teams just to focus on one player," Jones said. "You stop that player and then you're done. We need to have four, five, six players able to score in double figures."

Hanover shot 45 percent from the field and had 16 rebounds while beating the Quakers 41-32 on the boards.

"I thought we shot the ball much better," Jones said. "We ended up shooting 45 percent for the game. That's not bad for us. That's actually pretty good for us. We took care of the boards. That was a goal for us today ..."

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Saturday's Women's Game

at Hanover

HANOVER 72, EARLHAM 53

EARLHAM  (2-13, 1-7 HCAC) - Scott 13, (g)Watt 10, Brown 8, (g)Spay 7, (f)Bryant-Williams 6, Cunningham 5, (g)Sells 2, Hayden 2, (f)Long 0, Altman 0, Cox 0.



HANOVER (11-4, 5-3 HCAC) - (f)Prater 12, (f)Gahimer 10, (g)Hopkins 10, Weddle 10, (g)Morse 9, Malloy 6, (g)Watson 4, Brewer 4, Caudill 3, Tubb 2, Taylor 2, Jones 0, DeMoss 0, Pahren 0, Dilley 0.



Halftime - Hanover 45-22. 3-Point Goals - Earlham 3 (Watt 1, Spay 1, Scott 1), Hanover 6 (Gahimer 2, Malloy 2, Morse 1, Brewer 1). Rebounds - Earlham 32 (Bryant-Williams 5), Hanover 41 (Prater 8). Assists - Earlham 12 (Sells 6), Hanover 17 (Hopkins 4). Turnovers - Earlham 40, Hanover 37.  Total Fouls - Earlham 19, Hanover 9. Free Throws - Earlham 4-6, Hanover 10-18. Fouled Out - Earlham: Cunningham. Next Game - Earlham visits Defiance Wednesday. Hanover hosts Anderson Wednesday.