Learning lessons in sports can often be a silver lining to a loss. But the Hillsdale College women's basketball team learned valuable lessons in a big victory Thursday night.
Despite getting just 18 minutes of playing time for leading scorer and rebounder Megan Fogt, the Chargers used a terrific team effort to earn a 73-53 home win over the Tiffin University Dragons in the first game of the season against a fellow resident of the GLIAC South Division.
Hillsdale is now 5-8 overall and 4-5 in conference play. The team will look for its third win in a row Saturday when it takes on Ohio Dominican University in Columbus at 1:00.
Fogt was somewhat hampered by foul trouble, although she was very effective in the time she did see. What was more important however, was Hillsdale's ability to play well at both ends of the court without her. Fogt is among the GLIAC leaders in minutes played, and excellent games turned in by the likes of Madison Berry (pictured) and Sarah Theut builds confidence, both on a team and individual level.
Berry has shown steady improvement in all aspects of her game, particularly since Christmas Break, and finished with a game-high 18 points for the Chargers. She went 9-for-10 from the free throw line and hit 4 of her 5 shots from the field. She also dished out 4 assists in the win. She's made 19 of her last 20 free throws.
Theut came off the bench for 22 impactful minutes for Hillsdale and scored a season-high 10 points. She made three straight 3-point shots in the first half that were key in the Chargers' best half of the season. Theut also had 7 rebounds for Hillsdale.
The Chargers took control of the game from the outset and built their biggest lead of the season in holding a 45-23 advantage at halftime.
Hillsdale's team defense was also excellent, as it limited Tiffin to just 22 percent shooting from the field (14-for-62).
Fogt had 10 points and 8 rebounds, going 5-for-5 from the field. Her last points came with 10:37 left in the first half, and Hillsdale holding a 17-9 lead. That meant, for three-quarters of the game, Hillsdale didn't get a single point from its go-to offensive player, and in that time frame, outscored the Dragons by 12 points. It's as sure a sign of progress as the team has seen in a single game this season.