In its final home game of the regular season, the Hillsdale College women's basketball team did many things right and at a high level. But it wasn't quite enough to scratch out a win against a team that led the G-MAC for much of the season.
The Chargers lost to Kentucky Wesleyan 87-81 in a track-meet type of game Saturday afternoon at the Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena. The loss snapped Hillsdale's eight-game winning streak.
Hillsdale, 16-12 overall and 14-8 in the conference, enters the postseason tournament as the #5 seed and will face #4 seed Findlay at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Ohio.
This was the highest-scoring game the Chargers played during the regular season, and the pace was frantic from the start. But it was the Panthers who finished strong, outscoring Hillsdale 24-9 in the fourth quarter to erase what was a nine-point deficit.
The key area where KWC had an advantage was in forcing turnovers. The Chargers committed 18 turnovers, leading to 20 KWC points. Menawhile, the Panthers, despite their intense and fast pace, committed just three turnovers in the game and didn't permit Hillsdale a single point off those three turnovers.
Kentucky Wesleyan forced the action at the offensive end, and ended up shooting 10 more free throws in the game than the Chargers. That helped to negate Hillsdale's huge edge on the boards (52-39).
Before the game, the Chargers' four graduating seniors were honored on the day of their final home game. All four of them stepped up with good performances in their home finale.
Hunter Stevens got the start and contributed in all categories early in the contest.
Senior Brittany Gray connected on four 3-point shots and led Hillsdale with 23 points. She also had 6 rebounds and 2 assists. She became just the second player in school history with 80 made 3-pointers in a season. She sits two behind Chelsea Harrison's single-season school record of 82, set back in 2009-10.
Makenna Ott played tough inside, finishing with 15 points and 12 rebounds. She grabbed five offensive boards.
Allie Dewire battled foul trouble throughout the game, but still managed to finish with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.
PHOTO: Kamryn Matthews