The old saying "it's not how you start it's how you finish" worked for the Hillsdale College women's basketball team Thursday night.
Playing a tight game against GLIAC South Division rival Findlay for three quarters, the Chargers showed impressive killer instinct and closing skills, outscoring the Oilers 26-9 in the fourth quarter on their way to a 73-56 victory at Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena.
The win, Hillsdale's second in a row, improves the team to 10-6 overall and 4-5 in the GLIAC, while Findlay fell to 8-9 on the season.
The teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 47, with the Oilers closing the quarter on a 7-2 run, hitting a jumper at the quarter buzzer. But the Chargers never lost their poise in the final quarter and got contributions from lots of different players in the final 10 minutes. Four different players accounted for the team's first four field goals of the quarter, a testament to the team's balance, unselfishness and ability to create scoring chances for multiple players.
Sophomore forward Brittany Gray answered the bell big-time in the fourth, scoring eight points while hitting a pair of 3-point shots that propelled the Chargers ahead. She hit a three on the first Charger possession of the quarter, immediately giving the whole team momentum and confidence.
Hillsdale held Findlay without a field goal over the last four minutes of the fourth quarter, and held the Oilers to 20 percent shooting (3-for-15) from the field. At the other end of the floor, the Chargers shot 10-for-13 from the field with superb ball movement in the final quarter.
Four players scored in double figures, led by junior Maddy Reed's season-high 16. Reed was hitting her outside shots early, and was aggressive on the offensive end especially in the first half.
Senior Morgan Blair matched her season-high in scoring with 13, the fourth straight game she's scored in double figures. She also had six rebounds, three assists and three steals in an impactful performance at both ends.
Junior center Allie Dittmer connected on 6-of-9 field goals and had 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. Guard Allie Dewire chipped in with 11 and had just one turnover in 29 minutes on the floor.
Hillsdale outrebounded Findlay 43-34 and led for nearly 30 of the game's 40 minutes.
This was Hillsdale's first win over FIndlay since Feb. 3, 2014, snapping a three-game losing streak to the Oilers.
UP NEXT: Hillsdale visits No. 1-ranked Ashland University at 1 p.m. Saturday.