As is sometimes the case, the temperature went from ice cold to red hot in less than two hours Tuesday afternoon at the Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena.
No, it wasn't the weather, it was the shooting put on by the women's basketball teams from Hillsdale College and Ursuline College. The Chargers won an entertaining, high-scoring contest 89-84 over the Arrows to improve to 5-6 overall and 4-2 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. Hillsdale is now off until after Christmas, and will next take the court on Sunday, December 30 against Saginaw Valley State.
Both teams opened the game missing shots from all over the court. They combined to shoot 9-for-36 in the first quarter, which ended with an 18-7 Charger lead. The Arrows missed 15 of their first 18 shots from the floor as both teams truggled to find a good offensive rhythm.
But in the second half, shots started falling for both teams, and each hit the other with hefty scoring runs throughout the final 20 minutes. Hillsdale led by as many as 14, 71-57, after an Allie Dewire layup with nine minutes to go in the fourth quarter. But the Arrows responded with a three-quarter court trapping defense which forced turnovers, which in turn, led to some tough made baskets on the other end. Ursuline took its first lead of the game, 77-76, with 4:11 to go, capping a 20-5 run.
That's when Dewire, the Chargers' starting point guard, took over and brough the team home.
Dewire scored nine of her 16 points over the game's final four minutes. Those points were part of a game-ending 13-7 run by the Chargers, who needed to stop Ursuline's momentum and explosive offense down the stretch. Dewire was 6-for-9 from the free throw line and converted on five of her last seven field goal attempts in the win.
Freshman guard Lauren Daffenberg tied her career-high with 23 points, playing an exceptionally smart game on the floor. She did a good job at finding open spots on the floor and was very efficient, going 8-for-12 from the field with a pair of 3-point baskets.
Senior forward Brittany Gray tied her career-high with six made 3-point baskets, and tied Daffenberg's 23 points to lead the team. Gray also contributed 4 points on the team's game-ending 13-7 run, including an and-one layup that gave the Chargers a six-point lead.
Dewire and senior forward Makenna Ott each finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, playing key roles in Hillsdale's 47-39 edge on the boards. Sophomore guard Jaycie Burger had 7 points and 3 assists, while Gray added 4 steals to her solid all-around game.
PHOTO: MaryKate Drews