The first game of the 2014 calendar year for the Charger women's basketball team got off to a good start, but did not finish the way the team hoped.
Thanks to some red-hot shooting by sophomore Kelsey Cromer, Hillsdale jumped out to a 7-point lead on the division-leading Grand Valley State University Lakers. But GVSU responded with a 20-5 run, and ended up with an 80-69 decision over the Chargers in Allendale on a cold, snowy Thursday night.
Hillsdale is now 2-7 overall and next faces Ferris State University at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon in Big Rapids.
Cromer set a career-high with five 3-point field goals, all of them coming in the first half, on her way to a season-high 19 points. She had just one double-figure scoring game in her career prior to Thursday's game.
Her third 3-pointer gave the Chargers a 31-24 lead with 6:51 to go in the first half, But the Chargers went cold from there, scoring just 5 points in the rest of the half. The Lakers continued their surge in the second half, outscoring Hillsdale 16-5 in the first 5 minutes of the half, building a double-digit lead and never looking back.
GVSU stayed in range in the first half thanks to a 14-0 edge in points off turnovers. Although Hillsdale turned that stat around in the second half (14-4), it could not contain the aggressive Lakers, who outscored the visitors 23-6 at the free throw line in the game.
Junior forward Megan Fogt led Hillsdale with her sixth double-double of the season, 17 points and 13 rebounds to go with two blocked shots. Sophomore Kayla Geffert got her first start of the season, and finished with 7 points and 7 rebounds.