When junior center Allie Dittmer gets a good pass in the post, good things tend to happen for the Hillsdale College women's basketball team. In the closing seconds of Saturday's home game against the University of Illinois-Springfield, she didn't need to catch a pass in order to make something great happen for her team.
Dittmer converted an offensive rebound for a layup as time expired to give the Chargers a thrilling 72-70 win over the Prairie Stars at Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena on the second day of the GLIAC/GLVC Crossover Classic.
Hillsdale is now 2-0 on the season.
Unstoppable all game long, Dittmer finished with 27 points and a career-high 19 rebounds, with her last two points and one rebound being those that made the difference in this back-and-forth game. Dittmer was double teamed by UIS throughout the game, often with two post players, but they weren't enough to keep her from piling up numbers in her second game of her junior season.
While logging 37 minutes, a career-high for a regulation game, Dittmer was 11-for-20 from the field, with most of those shots coming from within five feet of the rim. She did an excellent job of gaining post position and her teammates found her with good passes that allowed her to easily get into prime scoring position.
Nine of Dittmer's 19 rebounds came on the offensive end, giving the Chargers valuable extra possessions.
UIS outscored Hillsdale 24-16 in the second quarter to take a 34-28 lead into halftime. The Chargers came out in the second half with some more bite on the defensive end after the Prairie Stars went 10-for-14 from the floor in the second quarter. Hillsdale trailed 49-47 at the end of the third quarter, but took command early in the fourth quarter with an 11-1 run, capped by a 3-pointer by sophomore Makenna Ott.
But UIS got hot once again, quickly chipping into the eight-point deficit by heating up from 3-point land. A 3-pointer by Tehya Fortune tied the game up at 70 with 28 seconds left. Hillsdale turned the ball over, but managed to get a defensive stop, along with a huge defensive rebound by senior Morgan Blair to get possession back with 3 seconds to go.
The out-of-bounds play called for Ott to drive from left to right for a layup attempt, which ended up being heavily contested. The shot came up short, but Dittmer smartly moved into rebounding position, and converted the layup to win the game for Hillsdale.
Junior guard Maddy Reed made a big impact on the game with several hustle plays at both ends of the court, and finished with 10 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals while making all 8 of her free throws. Ott had 12 points while sophomore Allie Dewire added 7.
UP NEXT: Hillsdale plays at St. Joseph's Wednesday evening in Indiana.
PHOTO CREDIT: Carly Gouge