After shooting 60.0% and making 21 field goals in the first half, the Centre College women's basketball team managed only three field goals in the second half and was out-scored 11-8 in overtime to fall to Hanover College 80-77 on day one of the Huntingdon Classic Friday, Dec. 28 in Montgomery, Ala.
Leading 23-21 with 13:16 to play in the opening period, the Colonels scored 12 unanswered points to take a 35-21 lead at the 8:51 mark. Junior Paige Baechle(Gallatin, Tenn.) hit a jumper to push the lead to 21 points (51-30), and sophomore Maggie Hartlage (Louisville, Ky.) hit a jumper with less than 10 seconds to give Centre a 56-31 lead at the break.
Things looked good as the Colonels had a 30-12 advantage in points in the paint and out-scored Hanover 19-4 in pionts off turnovers. Centre also out-rebounded the Panthers 25-19 to build the double-digit lead.
Following a Hanover lay-up to open the second half, senior Bridget Winstead (Franklin, Tenn.) nailed a three-pointer and Baechle scored in the paint to give the Colonels their biggest lead of the game at 28 points.
Hanover scored the next 10 points to cut the lead to 18, but Hartlage hit a three-pointer to push the lead back to 21 points (64-43) with 13:06 to play.
Centre's offense went cold the remainder of the second half as the Colonels scored only five points the rest of the way, all on free throws.
The Panthers (7-3) turned the tables in the second half with a 26-2 advantage in points in the paint and an 18-2 lead in points off turnovers.
Alicia Hopkins gave Hanover a 68-67 lead with 1:10 to go and Courtney Prater added a free throw to make it a two-point game. Baechle was then fouled and sent to the foul line with 28 seconds on the clock. The junior forward hit both free throws and the two teams missed a shot each as the game went to overtime.
Natalie Morse hit a three to open the extra period, but Baechle made a lay-up to cut the lead to one. After another Hanover lay-up, Winstead hit a three-pointer to tie the game, but the Panthers scored six of the final nine points to finish with the three-point win.
Baechle led all scorers with 28 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Centre. Hartlage scored a career-high 23 points and added nine rebounds, seven steals and two assists. Winstead chipped in 12 points, five assists, three rebounds and three steals in the loss.
Prater paced four Hanover players in double figures with 23 points and six rebounds. Hopkins had 15 points, eight steals, four rebounds and four assists. Morse tallied 13 points and six assists off the bench and Katie Gahimer notched 11 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
The Colonels, now 3-7 overall will return for day two of the Classic against Ferrum Saturday, Dec. 29. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. in Montgomery, Ala.