Allie Dewire brings the ball up the court during a game against Findlay on Feb­ruary 9. (S. Nathaniel Grime | Col­legian)

Once again, the Hillsdale College Chargers were within 10 points on the score­board in both of their home games last week, but again, they couldn’t quite come out on top. The Chargers fell to first-place Walsh Uni­versity 70 – 69 on Thursday, and to third-place Malone Uni­versity 82 – 76 on Sat­urday. 

The game against Walsh is the only time Hillsdale plays the Cav­a­liers during the regular season, and the Chargers nearly handed Walsh its first con­ference loss of the year. The Chargers led for much of the game, with leads of 17 – 14 at the end of the first quarter, 36 – 32 at halftime, and 58 – 54 at the end of the third quarter. 

In the fourth quarter, however, Walsh outscored Hillsdale 16 – 11 to com­plete a comeback win and remain unde­feated in the G‑MAC. The Chargers shot just 2 for 13 in the fourth quarter, and the Cav­a­liers took the lead for good on a layup with just two seconds left in the game. 

Despite leading nar­rowly for most of the game, the Chargers showed cracks with 19 total turnovers to Walsh’s two. Hillsdale also missed six free throws in the game. 

Sophomore guard Grace Touchette led the Chargers with 19 points and made five three-pointers. Senior center Julia Wacker, who made two free throws in the game’s final minute to give the Chargers a 69 – 68 lead, scored 13 points on five-for-six shooting. She also had 11 rebounds. 

Sophomore guard Lauren Daf­fenberg scored 12 points, and senior guard Sydney Anderson scored 11 points. Freshman forward Sydney Mills had another impact game coming off the bench, reg­is­tering a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. 

The loss dropped the Chargers to 5 – 15 overall and 2 – 9 in the G‑MAC, although seven of their nine losses against con­ference oppo­nents had been by nine points or less. 

Hillsdale suf­fered another close loss on Sat­urday, dropping them to 2 – 10 in the G‑MAC after falling to Malone, 82 – 76. The Chargers fell behind in the first quarter and never led in the game. 

Touchette again led Hillsdale in scoring, this time with 20 points. Three of her top four scoring per­for­mances this season have come in the Chargers’ last three games. 

Daf­fenberg scored 17 points, her most in a game since Dec. 14 against the Uni­versity of Findlay, when she scored 24 points. That game was the first of the Chargers’ two con­ference wins this season. 

Anderson fol­lowed with 10 points, and Wacker and and Burger scored eight points each. Wacker also had 10 rebounds. 

The Chargers travel south this weekend to play Trevecca Nazarene Uni­versity tonight and Ken­tucky Wes­leyan College on Sat­urday. The road trip is the first of two remaining trips on the road this season, with one final home­stand in between.