Hills­dale’s bench cel­e­brates after Allie Dewire scores during the Chargers’ win over Findlay on Feb­ruary 9. (S. Nathaniel Grime | Col­legian)

The Hillsdale College Chargers extended their season-best winning streak to seven games and clinched a berth in the upcoming G‑MAC tour­nament with a pair of wins on the road last week. Hillsdale’s last four wins have all come on the road, and were its final road games of the regular season.

On Thursday, the Chargers defeated winless Ohio Valley Uni­versity, 74 – 57. The Fighting Scots never led, and despite shooting just 31.9 percent from the floor, the Chargers had the game in hand from beginning to end.

“It’s kind of exciting to know we can win by that much and still not shoot great,” senior forward Makenna Ott said. “Our offensive game is still not at its best. It’s exciting to know we haven’t reached our full potential yet.

Senior forward Brittany Gray sur­passed 1,000 career points in her career with a team-leading 18 points in the win.

“It was pretty cool. I could hear the bench cheering and every­thing,” Gray said. “But hon­estly, the best part about it all is that my team cheers for me just as hard for any shot that I make. They’ve given me the shooting con­fi­dence that I have and the success in my career I’ve had.”

Gray joins Ott and senior guard Allie Dewire as the third Charger to accom­plish that mile­stone this season.

“Watching Allie, Makenna, and Brittany all achieve it this year has been pretty special,” Fritsche said. “I don’t think anybody’s expe­rience is ever perfect, but I hope those three have had a really good one. They mean a lot to us in a lot of facets, but more than any­thing, those are just three really good kids.”

The Chargers col­lected a single-game program-high 64 rebounds, dou­bling Ohio Valley’s 32. Junior guard Jaycie Burger led the way with 10 rebounds, and nine players col­lected at least four rebounds. Hillsdale leads the con­ference in total rebounds and rebounds per game this season. The Chargers also rank in the top 25 nationally in total rebounds, rebounds per game, and rebounding margin, among all NCAA Division II schools.

Ott fol­lowed Gray with 16 points, and freshman guard Grace Touchette added 10 points off the bench. Freshman forward Anna LoMonaco scored a career-high nine points, coming off the bench. Hillsdale’s bench scored 34 of its 74 total points .

“When someone makes a good play or we get a stop as a team, we’re a lot more excited for each other. We feed off of that energy,” Touchette said. “I think cheering on the bench and on the floor, it gives you a lot more energy.”

On Sat­urday, the Chargers defeated Ohio Dominican Uni­versity, 76 – 51. The margin of victory was Hillsdale’s third-largest this season.

“We had almost a flawless defensive game,” Gray said. “Any­thing they tried, we saw it a mile ahead.”

Five players scored in double digits for Hillsdale, led by Ott, who scored 15 points, and Burger, who scored 12. Gray, Dewire, and freshman guard Lauren Daf­fenberg each scored 11 points.

Dewire added a team-leading 14 rebounds, six of which came from the offensive glass, for her fifth double-double of the season. The 14 rebounds were a single-game career high for Dewire. The Chargers again enjoyed a healthy rebounding margin overall, grabbing 56 boards to the Pan­thers’ 34, including 19 offensive rebounds to the Pan­thers’ five.

“We got first-shot rebounds and even when things weren’t going well for us offen­sively, we gen­erated offensive rebounds,” Fritsche said. “We were able to tran­sition into reversals and get started into our offense at a good pace.”

The Chargers got off to a hot start, outscoring the Pan­thers 20 – 6 in the first quarter. Ohio Dominican never led in the game, and Hillsdale’s lead grew up to 33 points near the end of the fourth quarter. The Chargers scored 30 of their 76 points in the third quarter alone.

Hillsdale hasn’t trailed an opponent for 97 con­sec­utive minutes, spanning three games. The last time the Chargers weren’t ahead or tied in a game was early in the third quarter on Feb. 16 against Lake Erie College.

“When we play and practice like we have been, there’s no telling what we can do,” Fritsche said. “We have good teams in our league, but I wouldn’t want to play us right now.”

The eight teams in the G‑MAC tour­nament are already decided, but the seeding from top to bottom is subject to change, depending on how the final three days of the regular season unfold. The top four teams in the con­ference will host first-round tour­nament games next week, and the semi­final and final rounds will be hosted by the highest-seeded team remaining.

Tonight, Hillsdale will try to finish the month of Feb­ruary a perfect 7 – 0 when it hosts Trevecca Nazarene Uni­versity. Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m. The two teams’ first meeting of the season on Jan. 26 was the last time the Chargers suf­fered a loss, when they fell 69 – 62 in Nashville, Ten­nessee.

On Sat­urday, the Chargers host Ken­tucky Wes­leyan College for Senior Day and their regular season finale. The Pan­thers defeated Hillsdale 71 – 70 on Jan. 24 in Owensboro. Ken­tucky Wes­leyan holds a one-game lead over Cedarville Uni­versity and Walsh Uni­versity for first place in the con­ference.