Sometimes the shots don't always fall. But hard work and defense still produce winning basketball, as shown by the Hillsdale College women's basketball team Saturday afternoon.
After struggling to score for much of the game's beginning, the Chargers crashed the boards and got to work defensively, earning a 64-43 win over Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio.
Hillsdale's winning streak now stands at five straight as the team improves to 13-11 overall and 11-7 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
Fifteen of the Chargers' first 17 shots from the floor did not fall through the basket, making for a frustrating beginning of the game, and an early seven-point deficit to the host Storm. Even by halftime, Lake Erie held strong and led by one point, 27-26.
But the second half of this one might go down as Hillsdale's best on the defensive end of the floor all season. The Chargers allowed the Storm to score just 16 points in the second half, including five in the decisive third quarter when Hillsdale went on a 19-5 run to take command of the ballgame. Senior forward Makenna Ott was key in that period, scoring seven after not scoring in the first half.
The Chargers took 21 more field goal attempts in the game than the Storm, finishing with 11 more made field goals. How to account for that difference? Rebounding. The Chargers were monsters on the glass, outrebounding Lake Erie 51-37 while grabbing 23 offensive rebounds. Hillsdale also forced 19 turnovers, finishing plus-6 in that department.
Senior guard Allie Dewire was terrific, leading the team with 16 points and 10 rebounds. She was one of four Chargers to score in double figures. Senior Brittany Gray scored 11 points, making three 3-point baskets. Freshman Lauren Daffenberg came off the bench to score 11 while freshman Grace Touchette also scored 10 in a reserve role. Ott finished with 9 points and 10 rebounds for the Chargers.
PHOTO: MaryKate Drews