A promising first half disintegrated into a difficult second half Thursday night for the Hillsdale College women's basketball team.
A six-point lead at intermission was turned upside down by a 13-1 run by Cedarville University to end the third quarter. The Yellow Jackets went on to earn the victory, 76-60 over Hillsdale in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
Hillsdale falls to 1-5 overall and 0-1 in the G-MAC with the loss. The team wraps up its road trip Saturday against Tiffin.
Back-to-back 3-point field goals by freshman guard Grace Touchette helped Hillsdale pull ahead 41-35 by halftime. The Chargers shot 56 percent from the floor in the first half and were running an effective offense with several players chipping in.
Hillsdale led 47-45 in the third quarter when Cedarville caught fire. The Yellow Jackets scored on six straight possessions to close the third quarter with a 58-48 lead. The momentum carried into the fourth quarter, where Cedarville outscored Hillsdale 18-12 to win the game.
The Jackets had two significant advantages in this contest. Cedarville did a good job of getting to the free throw line in the first three quarters, outscoring the Chargers 14-4 from the charity stripe. Cedarville also committed six fewer turnovers than Hillsdale (18-12) and held a 15-5 scoring edge in points off turnovers.
Senior Brittany Gray led the Hillsdale offense with 17 points, connecting on five 3-point baskets. That was the second-most threes she's hit in a game in her career.
PHOTO: Todd Lancaster