It took a while - nearly a month to be exact - but the wait to play a home game turned out to be worth it for the Hillsdale College women's basketball team.
After playing the season's first six games on the road, Hillsdale finally played in the friendly confines of Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena and put on a good show for its home fans in a 77-51 win over the Malone University Pioneers. The win makes the Chargers 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
The Chargers got strong play from its offense and defense in picking up its most lopsided win of the season. Defensively, the Chargers held the Pioneers to 29 percent shooting for the game (19-for-65) and just 20 percent shooting from 3-point territory (6-for-30). Hillsdale's defense was active in the lanes and often forced up shots that were a high degree of difficulty on Malone's side.
Offensively, Hillsdale ran its motion offense well through much of the game. The team had 18 assists on 33 made field goals, was able to cut down on its turnovers (15 in the game, seven fewer than a week ago) and got three players scoring between 14 and 21 points.
Junior Brittany Gray is enjoying a more active and productive role in the offense and set a new career high in scoring for the second time this season. She led all players with 21 points, going 8-for-12 from the field, draining four 3-point field goals. Her shot selection was good and she did a nice job of finding open space, taking and making comfortable shots from many different spots on the court.
Junior guard Allie Dewire was using her speed well, going to the basket as she finished with 15 points and 4 assists. Junior forward Makenna Ott was 7-for-12 shooting and had 14 points and 4 rebounds in another steady effort in the win.
Senior center Allie Dittmer had an excellent all-around performance with 8 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocked shots. Known for her low post moves and inside scoring, Dittmer has adjusted well to the team's motion offense and did a nice job of finding cutters and shooters in the half-court.
Senior Maddy Reed grabbed 8 rebounds, had 3 steals and 6 points for Hillsdale, who outrebounded Malone 46-36 in the game.