Following a tough 8‑point home loss to Walsh on Thursday, the Hillsdale College women’s basketball team fought hard to beat Tiffin by 18 on Saturday.
“We made a concerted effort to compete, every play, every part of every play,” Head coach Todd Mitmesser said. “Our team — every individual — competed and I think that was lacking a little bit in the Walsh Game. It showed in the Tiffin game that we were more mentally determined.”
During the Walsh game, the Chargers struggled defensively both in guarding shots and in rebounding. The Cavs hit nine 3‑point shots and utilized their subs; bench players scored 21 of Walsh’s 68 total points, in contrast to only 4 bench points out of 60 for the Chargers. While the two teams almost shared shooting percentages from the field, the Cavs put up 7 more shots toward their eventual win. And though rebounding is typically Hillsdale’s strong point, Walsh outrebounded the team 44 – 26, 15 fewer rebounds than Hillsdale’s average.
“We didn’t do a good job of adjusting during the game when certain players and their team started to hit shots, and we should have paid them a little more attention. Secondly, we didn’t react very well to them doubling the post. We did some nice things, but we just didn’t have the consistency we needed to beat them,” Mitmesser said.
Sophomore guard Allie Dewire played the entire game and led the team in points, rebounds, assists, and personal fouls.
“We definitely needed to focus on what we scouted people to do, and just play more of our game and not play down to their game,” Dewire said.
But on Saturday, the entire team entered the court with energy that lasted through the whole game. Though the teams ended the first quarter tied at 17 points, Hillsdale outscored Tiffin by 9 in the second quarter and by 12 in the third, giving them a hefty lead into the fourth quarter. The Chargers also outrebounded the Dragons 50 – 34.
“In the Tiffin game we did a pretty good job of improving in a lot of areas. Our transition offense was much better. We also had a really good inside-outside game where we posted the ball and got some easy baskets, which also opened up some easy shots on the perimeter. It was a well-balanced game and we had the nice performance from a lot of different players,” Mitmesser said.
One of these players was junior forward Jessica De Gree who finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and an assist — her first career double-double.
“I felt ready to play and confident that our team could succeed. We didn’t want to accept that loss from Walsh. I think we all had better ball movement and we all played really aggressively. We shut them down on defense and could do whatever we wanted on offense,” De Gree said.
Though Dewire only played 22 total minutes, she still ended with 13 points, 7 assists, 10 rebounds, and 3 steals. Still, she saw ways to improve.
“We played really well and moved the ball around well. It was just a really good team effort,” Dewire said.
The team played an inside-heavy game, and junior center Allie Dittmer led the team with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Next week, the Chargers will battle Lake Erie on the road and Ohio Dominican back at home. Lake Erie only lost to No. 1 Ashland by 7 — in contrast to Hillsdale’s 19-point loss — and Ohio Dominican’s 13 – 6 record is just above Hillsdale’s 11 – 8 mark.
“We’ve got two tough games this week,” Mitmesser said, but added that he looks forward to the home court advantage on Saturday. “It’s always nice not to be on a bus. We’ve got a nice crowd. The student section does a good job of showing up to our games. We really appreciate that and hope there’s even more this Saturday.”