November 20, 2012 - The new-look (in more ways than one) Hillsdale College women's basketball team took the floor for the first official time Tuesday evening, and slugged its way to a victory.
After leading much of the game, the Chargers were forced to overtime by the Urbana University Blue Knights. But once the extra session began, Hillsdale clamped down on the visitors and came away with an 8-3-74 win at Jesse Philips Arena. The team heads to Kentucky State University Thanksgiving weekend to participate in a two-day tournament, against Livingstone and Ohio Midwestern.
The team showed off its brand-new uniforms and also had a number of players making their college debuts. Four of the team's seven freshmen received significant playing time, while others were venturing into much larger roles than what they had seen in the past. A mix of veterans and younger players all stepped up to make key plays in the win for the Chargers.
After a length-of-the-court drive led to a banked-in layup at the regulation buzzer, the teams were tied at 71-71 heading into overtime. But Hillsdale would hold Urbana scoreless until the final seconds of the contest, playing airtight defense while finishing off a dominating effort on the boards. The Chargers did a great job of holding the Blue Knights to one shot per possession. Urbana had just nine offensive rebounds on 41 missed shots in the contest.
Sophomore center Megan Fogt was a go-to player down the stretch for the Chargers, and delivered in a big way. She made the go-ahead basket late in regulation, and opened overtime with another layup as she worked hard to establish good position on the floor. She finished the game with a high double-double, 17 points and 17 rebounds on 7-for-11 shooting from the field. She also had four assists and four steals in a terrific opening-night effort.
Supplying much of the Charger offense early in regulation was returning junior guard Marissa DeMott, who enters the season as one of the GLIAC's deadliest outside shooters. She torched Urbana to the tune of 20 points, nailing six of her first eight attempts from beyond the 3-point line. Late in the second half, Urbana started playing tighter on DeMott, which helped open up chances for Fogt and other teammates to find offense closer to the rim.
The lone freshman starter for Hillsdale was guard Ashlyn Landherr (pictured), who played more than 30 minutes and had a gorgerous lefthanded layup in overtime to keep the Chargers in the lead. She had nine points, seven rebounds and five assists in her college debut.
AAU teammates Kayla Geffert and Sarah Theut also played significant roles in the win for Hillsdale. Geffert showed quickness on defense and was on the court whenever possible on the defensive end of the floor late in the second half and overtime. Theut made the first two shot attempts of her career, and was an important part of Hillsdale's 56-34 advantage in rebounding. The two players combined for 14 points and seven rebounds in the win, each scoring seven.
Hillsdale also enjoyed a big edge in 3-point shooting, outscoring Urbana 30-15 from beyond the arc.