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.