Courtney Prater
Courtney Prater
Hanover hit 32 free throws, forced 31 turnovers and got a career-high 28 points from senior Courtney Prater but lost in overtime to Defiance (Ohio) 85-80 in women's Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference basketball Saturday on the road.

After trailing by 10 points midway through the second period, Hanover rallied down the stretch. Six different players scored as the Panthers used a 15-5 run to knot the game 62-62 with 4:29 to play.

From that point, the squads were tied twice and exchanged the lead four times before heading to overtime tied 68-68.

Defiance never trailed in the extra session. The Yellow Jackets' Megan Zachrich opened the period with a 3-pointer and eventually pushed the advantage to six points (79-73) on a jumper with two minutes left on the clock.

Hanover's Elyse Weddle, a junior from Bloomfield, scored from inside and Ashley Malloy, a freshman from Salem, made a 3-pointer to later cut the margin to 80-78 with 41 seconds left.

However, Defiance (4-3, 3-0 Heartland) countered with a three-point play from Ashley Birchmeier to extend the lead to 83-78 with 27 seconds to play. The Yellow Jackets then sealed the decision with two free throws in the final 13 seconds.

Weddle matched her career best with 13 points off the bench, including eight in the overtime.

Birchmeier, who netted seven points in overtime, led four Defiance players in double figures with 18 points. Zachrich and Kim Comden added 17 points each.

Hanover finished the game 23-of-70 from the field (40 percent), but hit just 2-of-17 3-pointers (11.8 percent). The Panthers made 32-of-42 free throws (76.2 percent), including 12-of-14 by Prater.

Defiance outrebounded Hanover 50-42 but Hanover did gather 18 offensive rebounds, which led to 19 second-chance points.

Prater hauled in a game-best 12 boards, while Katie Gahimer, a senior from St. Paul, set a career high with 10.

The setback drops Hanover to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the HCAC. The Panthers visit Rose-Human on Saturday.

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SATURDAY'S WOMEN'S GAME

at Defiance, Ohio

DEFIANCE 85, HANOVER 80



HANOVER (4-2, 1-2 HCAC) - Prater 28, Weddle 13, Malloy 8, Bischoff 7, Watson 7, Gahimer 6, Hopkins 5, Morse 1-6 3, Caudill 3, Tubb 0, Brewer 0, Pahren 0.

DEFIANCE (4-3, 3-0 HCAC) - Birchmeier 18, Comden 17, Zachrich 17, King 12, Ciminillo 9, Bingley 6, Harshman 4, Kath 2, Fields 0, Neanen 0.



Halftime - Defiance 36-32. End of Regulation - Tied 68-68. 3-Point Goals - Hanover 2 (Morse 1, Malloy 1), Defiance 7 (Birchmeier 2, Ciminillo 2, King 1, Comden 1, Zachrich 1). Rebounds - Hanover 46 (Prater 12), Defiance 50 (Ciminillo 11). Assists - Hanover 10 (Gahimer 4), Defiance 20 (Ciminillo 4, King 4). Total Fouls - Hanover 25, Defiance 28. Free Throws - Hanover 32-42. Defiance 18-24. Fouled Out - Hanover: Watson. Defiance: Comden, Harshman. Next Game - Hanover visits Rose-Hulman on Saturday.