Some of the top players on Hillsdale College's women's basketball team had signature performances Thursday night. But for all the terrific play of senior Allie Dittmer and juniors Allie Dewire and Makenna Ott, the team fell one agonizing point short.
The Chargers lost an exciting, high-paced game to first-place Ursuline College 85-84 at the Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena Thursday night in a Great Midwest Athletic Conference battle. The loss drops Hillsdale to 13-9 overall and 11-7 in the conference, while the Arrows improved to 14-3 in G-MAC play.
Hillsdale won the first meeting of the season between the teams last month by playing one of its best games of the season. Thursday's rematch was an entertaining, intense affair with both teams playing long stretches of impressive basketball.
The Arrows led by five at halftime and at the end of the third quarter, but opened the fourth quarter on an 11-0 run to take a commanding 71-55 lead with 6:56 to go. The Arrows made their first seven field goal attempts in the fourth quarter, and led by as many as 15 points with just over four minutes to play, 78-63.
But the Chargers never wavered and played as if it was a two-point game. And it actually became one with 39 seconds left after Ott nailed a 3-point basket. But Hillsdale could get no closer, as the Arrows made seven free throws in the game's final 70 seconds to hold off the hard-charging home team.
A Jaycie Burger 3-pointer swished in at the buzzer, but it wasn't quite enough to tie the game up.
Ott made history on this night, becoming the first Charger to record a triple double since Katie Cezat did it on December 13, 2008 at Ferris State. Ott was magnificent with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. It was the first home triple double recorded by any Hillsdale player in more than 15 years.
Many of Ott's assists came thanks to the brilliant shooting of Dittmer, who was on target in this one. She finished with 24 points, making 12 of her 13 shots from the field. Dittmer was good on her first eight consecutive field goal attempts, and did an excellent job of getting consistent deep post position on the Arrow defense. Her 92.3 field goal percentage for the game was a single-game career-high for her.
Dewire poured in a season-high 22 points, knocking shots down from all over the court in another typically aggressive and productive game. She was 8-for-17 from the field and had 4 rebounds in 35 rugged minutes on the court. In addition to her driving layups, Dewire was finishing pull-up jumpers in the lane, a nice addition to her already-strong offensive game.
Junior Brittany Gray had 14 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals for the Chargers in her first home action since Jan. 13.