Men's basketball takes two-game winning streak into Anderson Saturday night

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HANOVER, Ind. – Looking to tie a season-best three-game winning streak will be the Hanover men's basketball team, as they travel to face Anderson at 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 13.

The Panthers (10-4, 5-2 HCAC) and Ravens were originally scheduled to tip off at 4 p.m., but the weather in each surrounding area pushed the start time back.

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THE TEAMS: The Panthers are currently riding a two-game winning streak in conference play, moving the team into a tie for first in the HCAC for overall wins, 10. Hanover opened the season on a three-game winning streak, meaning a victory Saturday would tie its longest stretch during any portion of the 2017-18 campaign.

Hanover, who is currently receiving votes in the D3hoops.com National Top 25 poll, has been ranked as high as No. 4 this year, which came in the preseason edition. The team, which has at least received national votes for 13 straight polls, also spent additional week in the top five earlier this season. 

The Blue and Red are averaging 77.9 points per game, but defense has been the story of late, as HC has held six of its last seven opponents to under 70 points, including four teams to under 55 points during the stretch. Overall, HC is allowing 65.2 points per game, which is first in the HCAC and 20th in NCAA Division III.

Hanover's stout defense will be tested again Saturday, as Anderson is currently among the top 30 in the country in points per game (86.3) and field goal percentage (51.0), while its free throw percentage, 82.4, is the best in the nation.

The Ravens enter play on a five-game overall winning streak and have won each of their last three conference contests to total 9-5 overall and 4-3 HCAC records this season. Anderson is 3-3 at home this year, but all three setbacks have come to conference opponents.

THE SERIES: The Panthers hold the advantage in the overall series history, leading 98-57 after a pair of victories last season. Hanover has won three of the last five meetings with AU, with the two losses coming in triple overtime by six points, 106-100, and by three points in regulation, 94-91. The Blue and Red have also won two straight at Anderson, including a 74-65 triumph last January.

LAST TIME OUT: Wednesday evening, Hanover jumped out to an early double-digit lead and never looked back, defeating Earlham at home 90-54. The Panthers scored over 40 points in each half while shooting 50 percent from the field for the second straight game and for the fourth time in the last seven outings.

Senior Wes McKinney (Batesville, Ind.) scored 19 of his team high 22 points in the first half, as he jumped three spots in the program's all-time scoring list, with his 1,406 career points moving him into 12th. McKinney netted four shots from long range Wednesday, as his 32 makes from 3-point range is the most in the HCAC this season.

Adding 12 of his 16 points in the first half was junior Cam Fails (Mason, Ohio). Fails finished 7-of-14 from the field and added four steals defensively. The junior now has multiple steals in each of the last seven games.

Sophomores Blake Robertson (Greenfield, Ind.) and Jacob Bray (Crestwood, Ky.) came off the bench as both tied career highs with 15 and eight points respectively. The duo combined to go 7-of-10 from behind the arc.

UP NEXT: Hanover will conclude the opening round of conference play with a trip to Mt. St. Joseph at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 17. The Panthers and Lions will meet for the first time since the 2016-17 HCAC Championship game, which was won by Hanover, 58-51.

Contact: Tyler Jester

jestert@hanover.edu