It had been quite a while since the Hillsdale College women's basketball team left the home area of Saginaw Valley State with a win. But already, the 2017-18 Chargers are proving how much they enjoy breaking new ground.
Hillsdale played a steady four quarters in picking up a 69-58 win over the Cardinals at the James O'Neill Arena on the campus of SVSU. Hillsdale is now 2-1 on the season, and next plays Sunday afternoon at Ferris State, another old GLIAC rival.
Saginaw Valley State has had the better of this rivalry in recent years, and won last year's matchup between the teams on the same court by 25 points. After a ragged start by both teams, Hillsdale sharpened its execution on both ends of hte floor and outscored the Cardinals in each of the game's final three quarters to pick up an in-region road win.
All five Hillsdale starters scored between 7 and 15 points in a nicely balanced effort. Junior Makenna Ott's 15 led the way, while Brittany Gray (14), Allie Dittmer (13) and Allie Dewire (11) all cracked double figures in scoring. Senior Maddy Reed had 7 points and 9 rebounds to finish up a quality effort by the team's starters.
The Chargers enjoyed a huge edge on the boards, outrebounding SVSU 54-38 and Dittmer was a catalyst in that domination. She recorded a season-high 13 rebounds to go with her 13 points, and owned the area near the basket at both ends.
Gray turned in an excellent all-around game, swishing four 3-point baskets while dishing out a career-high 7 assists to go with 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Gray has carved out a larger role on the offense and defense this season, and although it is early, is making a case to be the team's most improved player from last season.
Hillsdale's defense suffocated SVSU to the tune of 28 percent field goal shooting for the Cardinals and 16 percent shooting from 3-point land (3-for-19) in the game. Hillsdale doubled Saginaw Valley State's assist output in the game, 18-9, another indicator of how Hillsdale is consciously moving the ball around to get good looks at the basket.