Just two days after a frustrating loss in Ohio, the Hillsdale College women's basketball team recorded its most impressive win of the season, also in the state of Ohio.
Thanks to an explosive third quarter, the Chargers handed defending Great Midwest Athletic Conference champion its first conference loss of the season, 84-68, Saturday afternoon in Pepper Pike, Ohio. The Chargers are now 8-6 overall and 6-4 in the G-MAC while the Arrows drop to 11-4 overall and 8-1 in conference play.
Hillsdale poured in a school-record 33 points in the third quarter, shooting 13-for-18 from the field (72 percent) and flipping a two-point halftime deficit into a 15-point lead entering the fourth. The team's killer instinct was on display in that fourth quarter. It wasn't content with the huge third, as it outscored Ursuline 16-15 and limited the Arrows to 24 percent shooting in the fourth quarter to close out the win.
The focus of the offense was senior center Allie Dittmer, and she delivered with another dominating performance. She finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds, shooting 12-for-15 from the floor. She scored 10 of her points in the first quarter, when the Chargers were determined to get the ball inside early, and she stepped up with major production for the second game in a row.
The Chargers led 20-17 after one quarter, but the Arrows held a 20-15 scoring edge in the second quarter to take a 37-35 lead at halftime. Ursuline's Laney Lewis, one of the G-MAC's top players so far this season, hit a jumper 8 seconds into the third quarter to give her team a four-point lead. But it was all Hillsdale from there, as the Chargers immediately went on an 8-0 run to jump back out in front, 43-39.
Later in the third, the Chargers put a 10-0 run on the Arrows to take a 55-43 lead. The run was capped by a 3-point shot by freshman Jaycie Burger, who had all 8 of her points in the decisive third quarter.
One key to the victory was the play of junior guard Allie Dewire. She didn't play in Thursday night's loss at Lake Erie, but bounced back with a vengeance against the Arrows, recording 14 points to go along with a career-high 13 rebounds and 4 assists.
Junior Makenna Ott also stepped up in the second half, and finished with 15 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 blocked shots. Ten of Ott's 15 came in the second half, when the Chargers outscored the Arrows 49-31.
Junior Brittany Gray added 13 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals to the Hillsdale effort.
The Chargers had 21 offensive rebounds as part of a 59-41 edge on the boards. Hillsdale piled up 20 second-chance points while limiting the Arrows to 30 percent shooting from the field in the second half.