Hanover College players (above, from left) Jenna Meyer, Jessie Davidson, Stephanie Pahren, Kelsey Block and Megan Caudill watch from the bench late in the Panthers’ loss to Transylvania in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference basketball tournament on Sunday in Lexington, Ky. Davidson, a freshman, attempts to go to the basket (below) as the Pioneers’ Jordin Fender provides defense. Transy rolled to the 110-70 win. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Hanover College players (above, from left) Jenna Meyer, Jessie Davidson, Stephanie Pahren, Kelsey Block and Megan Caudill watch from the bench late in the Panthers’ loss to Transylvania in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference basketball tournament on Sunday in Lexington, Ky. Davidson, a freshman, attempts to go to the basket (below) as the Pioneers’ Jordin Fender provides defense. Transy rolled to the 110-70 win. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
LEXINGTON, Ky. - If there was ever any question on how long Transylvania's players could hold a grudge, the answer was almost exactly 365 days.

One year after Hanover stunned Transy with a huge start en route to the conference title, it was the Pioneers' chance to do a bit of stunning as the Pioneers rolled to a dominating 110-70 basketball win in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference women's championship game on Sunday.

Transylvania missed four of its first six shots from the floor and then seemingly did not miss again. The Pioneers were a blistering 65.7 percent from the floor in the first half and cooled only slightly to 53.7 percent in the second half.

Hanover, meanwhile, simply could not keep up. Even if the Panthers hadn't shot only 29 percent from the field, it was unlikely they would have been able to muster enough offense to stay with Transy.

"When you beat them on their home floor like we did last year, you're basically preparing all season to get this revenge," Hanover coach Molly Jones said with a rueful smile. "They've got a great team and we knew it was going to be a challenge to stop them offensively. This is the third time we've played them and that's been our trouble each time."

Transylvania (25-2) eclipsed the 100-point mark for the seventh time this season and for the third time against Hanover. In fact, the Pioneers scored a grand total of 314 points in three wins over the Panthers.

In each of the previous two losses Hanover was able to at least keep pace. In the first game the Panthers managed 91 points while they scored 85 in the second.

But points were hard to come by in this one. Transy pushed Hanover away from the paint and the Panthers spent the first six minutes of the game shooting jump shots. The only saving grace was the fact that Hanover hit six 3-pointers over the first 12 minutes, three each by Caitlin Bischoff and Jessie Davidson.

After the relatively slow start, however, Transylvania exploded. Katelyn Smith, who was named the tourney's Most Valuable Player, converted a missed Hanover 3-pointer with a fast-break lay-up to put the Pioneers ahead 28-17 with 9:24 before halftime and Transy never looked back.

The killer stretch for the Pioneers came right at the end of the first half. Megan Caudill hit a pair of free throws to pull Hanover within 11 with 3:18 left but Transy's Madisen Webb answered with a 3-pointer on the other end to push the lead back to 14.

The Pioneers then closed the half on a 14-1 run to take a 24-point lead into the lockeroom. In the blink of an eye, a manageable 11-point deficit was at 24 and the rout was on.

"They just had a complete game," Jones said. "Inside, outside, speed, quickness, they pretty much just have it all, especially when you catch them on a good afternoon when they're hitting shots."

Transylvania had four players reach double figures in scoring by halftime and six by the end of the game as the Pioneers poured it on in the second half. Hanover never got the lead back to under 20 and Transy led by as many as 44 on two different occasions before winning by 42.

Smith was simply the best of a slew of Pioneers who had big games. The sophomore from Hazard, Ky., led all scorers with 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting and added five assists and three rebounds.

Webb and Alex McKenzie, teammates from Scott County (Ky.) High School, chipped in with big games. Webb had 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists and was named to the all-tournament team while McKenzie had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Alex Botkin added 14 points and 10 rebounds, Jordin Fender had 13 points and four assists and Owen County's Hannah Neeley had 10 points.

Nicole Coffman, a junior from Casey County, had nine points and joined Smith and Webb on the all-tourney team.

Caudill led Hanover with 15 points and eight rebounds, Davidson had 14 points and Bischoff scored 11. Davidson and junior Alicia Hopkins, who was held scoreless, were named to the all-tournament team.

Davidson made 3-of-4 at the foul line to set a Hanover single-season record by shooting 86.2 percent from the foul stripe for the season. She made 106-of-123 during the season to surpass the previous mark of 83.2 percent (84-101) set by former Southwestern standout Tessa Wynn with Hanover in 2000-01.

Adding injury to insult was the loss of Elyse Weddle to a knee injury late in the game. Weddle, a 5-foot-10 forward from Bloomfield, was the team's only senior.

"She was just such a great leader for this team," Jones said. "She was a big reason I think that the last 14 games were as good as they were. She was just so good with the rest of the girls and they looked up to her. You hate to see her go out that way, but she did everything she could to get the team the way it was."

Transylvania will play in the NCAA Division III Tournament this weekend - the Pioneers' first trip to the Big Dance since 2009 and just third overall. Hanover, meanwhile, likely will stay home after playing in two of the last three NCAA tournaments.

But despite the loss, Jones was pleased with her team's season. Not much was expected of the Panthers after losing four starters from last year's team, but Hanover still went 17-10 overall and 14-4 in the HCAC.

"First thing I told (the team) was not to let this game define our season because it's been too good," Jones said. "We were sitting at 5-8 after we played Bluffton and we went on a 10-game winning streak and we won 12 of 14 to end the season. We couldn't be more proud. They just really came together and they decided that they were going to start winning games and they figured it out.

"This team will be back, we'll add some recruits and we graduate only one senior. This team has gotten a lot of experience against a lot of really good teams ... I don't think we have a bad loss. I think this experience will carry over to next year and I totally expect to be back here next year."

Hanover 92, Franklin 83 (semifinals) - Jessie Davidson and Alicia Hopkins scored 22 points each to lead Hanover to a 92-83 win over Franklin in the HCAC semifinals on Saturday.

Davidson, a freshman from Austin, was 6-of-10 from the floor, including 2-of-4 on 3-pointers, and added an 8-of-9 performance from the free-throw line. Hopkins, a junior from Columbus East, was 7-of-13 from the field and 5-of-6 from the line.

Hanover jumped out to a big lead early and held a 53-39 advantage at halftime. Franklin rallied to cut the deficit under 10 but did not threaten.

Lindsey Doll scored 21 points and had 11 rebounds to lead Franklin (13-13) and was named to the all-tournament team. Lexi Ingram added 17 points.

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WOMEN'S HCAC TOURNAMENT

at Lexington, Ky.

Saturday's Semifinals

HANOVER 92, FRANKLIN 83



FRANKLIN (13-13) - Dall 21, Ingram 17, Thompson 9, Comer 9, Brewer 8, DeSutter 8, Fisher 5, Schott 4, May 2, Ballard 0.

HANOVER (17-9) - Davidson 22, Hopkins 22, Bischoff 13, Watson 8, Caudill 8, Malloy 6, Block 5, Weddle 4, Meyer 4, Pahren 0.



Halftime - Hanover 53-39. 3-Point Goals - Franklin 9 (Ingram 5, Comer 3, Dall 1), Hanover 12 (Bischoff 3, Hopkins 3, Malloy 2, Davidson 2, Block 1, Watson 1). Rebounds - Franklin 40 (Dall 11), Hanover 24 (Watson 5). Assists - Franklin 23 (DeSutter 6), Hanover 21 (Watson 5, Hopkins 5). Total Fouls - Franklin

16, Hanover 13. Free Throws - Franklin 12-16, Hanover 16-22. Fouled Out - None.

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Sunday's Championship

TRANSYLVANIA 110, HANOVER 70



HANOVER (17-10) - (f)Caudill 15, (g)Davidson 14, (f)Bischoff 11, Meyer 8, (g)Watson 7, Weddle 6, Block 4, Malloy 3, Pahren 2, (g)Hopkins 0, Bentz 0.

TRANSYLVANIA (25-2) - (g)Smith 23, (f)McKenzie 19, (f)Botkin 14, (g)Webb 14, Fender 13, Neeley 10, (g)Coffman 9, Hieronymus 3, Thomas 3, Dobson 2, Moreland 0, Pharris 0.



Halftime - Transylvania 56-32. 3-Point Goals - Hanover 7 (Bischoff 3, Davidson 3, Malloy 1), Hanover 10 (Webb 4, Smith 2, Neeley 2, Coffman 1, Hieronymus 1). Rebounds - Hanover 40 (Caudill 8), Transylvania 51 (McKenzie 11, Botkin 10). Assists - Hanover 14 (Hopkins 4), Transylvania 25 (Webb 6). Turnovers - Hanover 13, Transylvania 12. Total Fouls - Hanover 17, Transylvania 20. Free Throws - Hanover 19-24, Transylvania 10-18. Fouled Out - None.