Botkin fuels Transy women to HCAC title

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HANOVER, Ind. – Transylvania freshman Alex Botkin posted her sixth double-double of the season Wednesday, helping the Pioneers defeat Hanover 61-55 and clinching the Heartland Conference women's basketball regular season title.
With the win, Transy improves to 19-5, 15-2 HCAC, while the Panthers are 17-7, 11-6 HCAC. Transy, winners of 11 of its last 12 games, needed a win to clinch at least a share of the HCAC regular season title, its first since 2009-10. That also means the Pioneers will host the HCAC tourney Feb. 22-24 as the top seed. Transy will seek its third 20-win season under head coach Greg Todd when it faces Bluffton on Saturday.
Botkin tied her career highs with 17 points and 14 rebounds to go with four blocks, two steals, and an assist.Madisen Webb added 16 points and seven boards while Nichole Coffman popped in 11 points, six rebounds, and two assists. Alex McKenzie rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points. She also had seven rebounds.
Transy's defense held Hanover to 30 percent shooting for the game and  the Pioneers led by as many as 12 points in the second half. Katie Gahimer had 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead Hanover, which lost to Transy for the second time this season.
Webb scored 10 points in the first half, which ended with the Pioneers on top, 26-22. Transy held the Panthers to 23.5 percent shooting (8 of 34) while making 11 of 34 for 32 percent.
Transy led by eight in the early going only to see Hanover come back to grab a 22-21 lead with 2:23 left before intermission. Transy ended the half on a 5-0 run on a three-pointer by McKenzie and a basket by Coffman just ahead of the buzzer.
McKenzie had five first-half points for Transy while Gahimer netted eight to lead the home team.
The Pioneers will meet Bluffton at the Beck Center for a Senior Day contest Saturday at 2 p.m. Transy will honor its two seniors prior to tip-off.