Second half spurt sends men's basketball to 85-47 win over Kent State-Tuscarawas

Carlos Garcia

CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – The Hanover men's basketball team posted its best defensive performance of the season, as they defeated Kent State-Tuscarawas (Ohio) 85-47 on Saturday to conclude play at Thomas More (Ky.) Jim Connor Classic.

The Panthers (3-0) forced the Golden Eagles into a .333 shooting clip, conceding its fewest point total on the brief 2018-19 campaig. Hanover also shot 66.7 percent in the second half to run away with the win.

Kent State-Tuscarawas had Hanover in its largest deficit of the season, four points, as the Golden Eagles led 16-12 midway through the opening half. Despite making just 10-of-28 field goal attempts, the Blue and Red rallied to take a 29-22 lead at the intermission.

Freshman Carlos Garcia (Mason, Ohio) and junior Blake Robertson (Greenfield, Ind.) combined for 14 first half points, as the duo finished with 13 and eight points, respectively. Garcia made five-of-eight field goal attempts, while also adding four rebounds and two steals off the bench.

Senior Cam Fails (Cincinnati, Ohio) did most of his damage in the second half, scoring 15 of his game-high 18 points over the final 20 minutes of play. Fails made 7-of-13 shots for his second straight 18-point performance. Freshman Zach Harp (Cincinnati, Ohio) was in double figures for the third straight contest, tallying 12 points.

The Panthers were only able to extend their lead to eight points, 49-41, with 11:26 left to play. After giving up a basket near the midway point, HC opened up the game with a 24-0 run, holding KSUT scoreless for over seven minutes of play. Fails, Garcia and sophomore Connor Washburn (Fishers, Ind.) combined for 14 points during the scoring spurt.

Hanover outscored the Golden Eagles 56-25 in the second half, to secure the 85-47 triumph.

Adding a season-high 10 points was junior Kevin Williams (Edinburgh, Ind.). Williams made all four of his field goal attempts, while adding five rebounds. Sophomore Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) pitched in with five points and recorded team-high marks in rebounds and assists with seven and four, respectively.

Eleven of the 13 Panther players to appear Saturday found the scoring column. Junior Logan Ratts (Martinsville, Ind.) added six points to help HC to a 32-7 advantage in bench scoring. Hanover also enjoyed a 36-24 rebounding edge. Defensively, HC forced 19 KSUT turnovers for 26 points.

The Panthers will return to action at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 20, as they welcome nationally-ranked Wooster (Ohio) to Collier Arena.

Contact: Tyler Jester