BOARD ACTION: Hanover College’s Elyse Weddle (above, 14) battles with Anderson’s Nyomi Defiel for a rebound during Wednesday’s game. The Panthers’ Alicia Hopkins (below) blows past Anderson defender Mallory King on her way to the basket. Hopkins scored a game-high 17 points and Hanover beat Anderson for the ninth-straight time, 79-67. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
BOARD ACTION: Hanover College’s Elyse Weddle (above, 14) battles with Anderson’s Nyomi Defiel for a rebound during Wednesday’s game. The Panthers’ Alicia Hopkins (below) blows past Anderson defender Mallory King on her way to the basket. Hopkins scored a game-high 17 points and Hanover beat Anderson for the ninth-straight time, 79-67. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Alicia Hopkins scored a game-high 17 points and matched her career best with nine steals as the Hanover College basketball women topped Anderson 79-67 Wednesday in Collier Arena.

Hopkins, a sophomore from Columbus, scored the first points of the game and senior Natalie Morse followed with her own lay-up as the Panthers jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead just 20 seconds in.

The game quickly become defensive-minded and physical, as neither team reached double digits until a Jade Tubb 3-pointer put Hanover up 11-6 at the 10:13 mark.

Senior Courtney Prater then corralled her own offensive rebound and scored in the paint, to put Hanover ahead 13-8.

Hanover threatened to run away with the lead, but Anderson reserve Jenna Wittenberg hit two 3-pointers and sank four free throws in the final three minutes of the half to keep the game close.

Hopkins hit two free throws with eight seconds remaining to push the Panther to a 36-25 lead at halftime.

Hanover (12-4, 6-3 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference) held a double-digit advantage for much of the second period before a 12-5 Anderson run reduced the Panther lead to one (55-54) with 13:01 to play.

The previously stalled Panther offense responded with a slew of 3-pointers to push the lead back to double digits and secure the win.

Senior Katie Gahimer rebounded a Raven miss, shot an outlet pass to Morse and sprinted down court to be in position to hit a 3-pointer that started the rally with eight minutes remaining.

Morse followed with a 3-pointer of her own off a Shana Watson assist that was initiated by an Elyse Weddle steal and the Panthers pulled ahead 61-54.

On the next possession, the Ravens cut into the Panther lead with a Wittenberg 3-pointer before sending Weddle to the foul line.

Weddle hit both shots and Hanover followed with a Gahimer jumper from the top of the lane.

The Panther defense held strong on the next possession and Gahimer found Watson at the top of the key for 3-pointer that put the Panthers up 68-57.

Anderson rallied to within six points (73-67) with 47 seconds remaining, forcing Hanover to call a timeout.

The Panthers regrouped and responded with an untouched lay-up by Hopkins to push the lead to 75-67.

Anderson missed a three and Hopkins quickly passed the ball inside to Prater for a quick bucket in the post to put the Panthers up 10 (77-67) with 17 seconds left in the game.

Caudill then closed the game with two free-throws.

The Ravens (4-12, 3-6 HCAC) outrebounded the Panthers 40-24, but had 39 turnovers in the losing effort.

Led by Hopkins, Hanover collected 22 steals and notched 15 assists. Prater grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and scored 13 points from the post position.

Hanover shot 40.7 percent (22-of-54) from the field and 38.9 percent (7-of-18) from 3-point range. Anderson hit 21-of-52 (40.4 percent) from the floor and 7-of-15 (46.7 percent) from beyond the arc.

Two players with Courierarea ties got into the game for Hanover. Former Southwestern standout Kelsey Jones, a sophomore, played four minutes in the first half and had a steal. Former Madison Cub Kelsey Block, a freshman, saw action in the second half and played three minutes in her first appearance of the season.

Block, who spent the first semester of her freshman year at the University of Southern Indiana before transferring to Hanover, became the first Madison graduate to suit up for the Panthers in more than 20 years. Marcie Royalty, the last Cub to do so, played 13 games for Hanover during the 1991-92 season and Michelle Ward capped a stellar career for the Panthers the year before when she averaged 19.8 points per game as a senior.

The victory marked the ninth in a row for Hanover against Anderson.

Hanover hosts Defiance on Saturday.

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WEDNESDAY'S WOMEN'S GAME

at Hanover

HANOVER 79, ANDERSON 67

ANDERSON (4-12, 3-6 HCAC) - Wittenberg 16, (f)As. Wuestefeld 15, (g)King 11, (g)Am. Wuestefeld 9, (c)Defiel 8, Stachovic 8, Delagrange 0, Haskins 0, Conner 0.



HANOVER (12-4, 6-3 HCAC) - (g)Hopkins 17, (f)Prater 13, Caudill 12, (f)Gahimer 9, (g)Morse 9, (g)Watson 7, Pahren 4, Weddle 3, Tubb 3, Malloy 2, Jones 0, Brewer, Block 0, DeMoss 0.



Halftime - Hanover 36-25. 3-Point Goals - Anderson 7 (As. Wuestefeld 3, Wittenberg 3, King 1), Hanover 7 (Gahimer 2, Caudill 2, Morse 1, Watson 1, Tubb 1). Rebounds - Anderson 40 (Stachovic 9), Hanover 24 (Prater 10). Assists - Anderson 11 (Am. Wuestefeld 4), Hanover 15 (Morse 4, Hopkins 4, Watson 4). Turnovers - Anderson 39, Hanover 22. Total Fouls - Anderson 20, Hanover 19. Free Throws - Anderson 18-22, Hanover 28-36. Fouled Out - Anderson: Conner. Next Game - Hanover hosts Defiance Saturday.