The fourth quarter of women's basketball action between Hillsdale College and Davis & Elkins College featured eight lead changes. But the last lead change was the one the home team wanted.
The Chargers played some tough defense down the stretch in earning a 74-72 win over the Senators at Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena in their final game before the Christmas holiday. The win makes Hillsdale 6-5 overall and 4-3 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
Hillsdale held Davis & Elkins to just two made field goals over the game's last four minutes, while a crunch-time layup by senior Allie Dittmer was the game-deciding basket with 39 seconds to go to push Hillsdale over the top. Her score gave the Chargers a 73-72 lead, coming just 33 seconds after the Senators took a 72-71 lead on a basket by Colleena Burdock.
Senior Maddy Reed stepped up with a made free throw with 17 seconds to go, and the Charger defense stood tall on the game's last possessions, forcing two missed 3-pointers on the game's final two possessions by D&E to wrap up the win.
Hillsdale was severely tested, especially in the backcourt, with two players unavailable due to illness. Junior Allie Dewire fouled out after a strong game (11 points, 3 assists) leaving the team locked into defensive matchups for much of the fourth quarter. But Reed and freshman guard Jaycie Burger played tough against an athletic and aggressive Senator backcourt, and did just enough to hang on for the win.
Reed was terrific at both ends of the court with 16 points and 9 rebounds in 32 minutes of action. She was 6-for-8 from the floor and had just one turnover in the game.
Burger made a huge 3-point basket that trimmed the Charger deficit from five to two with 3:42 to go in the game. Her shot came at a time when D&E seemed poised to pull away, but her basket helped Hillsdale remain within striking distance down the stretch.
Dittmer notched another double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds to go along with 3 assists. Nine of her rebounds were on the defensive end, and she blocked two shots as well.
Junior Brittany Gray shared the team's scoring lead with Reed, pouring in 16 while going 4-for-8 from 3-point territory.
Although Hillsdale lost the turnover battle overall 16-9, the Chargers held an impressive 19-11 edge in points off turnovers, making the Senators pay for any mistakes they made. The game featured 18 lead changes, and neither team enjoyed a scoring advantage in a quarter greater than three.