Thursday night's Great Midwest Athletic Conference home opener between Hillsdale College and Malone University was evenly played through three quarters, with the Chargers clinging to a four-point lead.
Then the fourth quarter happened.
The Chargers outscored the Pioneers 28-6 over the game's final 10 minutes to capture the win going away, 70-44, at Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena. The win, the Chargers' second in a row, makes the team 3-5 overall and 2-1 in the G-MAC.
In the fourth quarter alone, senior forward Brittany Gray came alive to score 10 points, grab 3 rebounds and earn 2 steals. The freshman guard duo, Lauren Daffenberg and Grace Touchette each added 6 points as well and combined for three assists.
The two teams appeared to be evenly matched as the Chargers never led by more than six points leading up to the fourth quarter. But Hillsdale was able to take control, thanks in large part to owning the boards, outrebounding Malone 54-39, a season-best.
Leading up to that fourth quarter scoring frenzy, the senior leadership of forward Makenna Ott and guard Allie Dewire kept the Chargers in the lead. Ott led the Chargers in scoring with 17 points, without earning a single basket in the fourth. She also grabbed nine rebounds. Dewire had a nice double-double performance with 16 points and 12 rebounds and added three assists.
The Chargers have another chance to defend their home court in conference play against the Walsh University Cavaliers on Saturday at 1 p.m.
PHOTO: Todd Lancaster
WORDS: Calli Townsend