Fails pours in 32 points as Hanover holds on for 80-79 win at Whittier

Cam Fails

WHITTIER, Calif. – The Hanover men's basketball team received 32 points from senior Cam Fails (Cincinnati, Ohio) as the Panthers held off a late rally by Whittier (Calif.) Tuesday evening for an 80-79 road win.

Fails, who scored 20 of his game-high 32 points in the first half, tied a career high. The senior now has four 30-point games in his career, all of which have come in his past 17 outings. During the stretch, Fails has scored 20-plus points in 12 games.

It was an efficient shooting night for Fails, as he made 9-of-15 field goal attempts, including a six-for-seven performance from behind the arc. The senior added four rebounds and three steals as well.

Also shooting the ball efficiently was freshman Zach Harp (Cincinnati, Ohio). Harp made 7-of-12 tries, including four makes from deep. The freshman also recorded a career-high seven rebounds.

Fresh off his near triple-double last Saturday, which earned him Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference player of the week honors, sophomore Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) followed up with an encore performance of 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists. His rebounding and assist totals paced the Panthers (7-3).

A sharp-shooting first half helped guide the Blue and Red to a double-digit lead after 20 minutes of play. Fails was key in the strong start, as he scored seven points during HC's 10-2 run over the opening 2:20.

An additional 15-2 scoring spurt pushed the Hanover lead to 21 points, 40-19, with 5:16 remaining in the first half. The advantage was HC's largest of the night. Whittier (2-8) though, rallied to pull within 12 points at the break, 47-35.

The Panthers made 16-of-28 (.571) field goal attempts in the first half, highlighted by a 9-for-15 (.600) effort from three-point range. Fails and Harp combined for 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting in the first half. Junior Blake Robertson (Greenfield, Ind.) added all six of his points in the first half.

Hanover led by as many as 16 points on two separate occasions in the second half, including a 73-57 edge with 6:33 left to play. The Poets though, finished the game on a 22-7 run, pulling within one point, 80-79. Whittier did have a chance to win in the closing seconds, but Hanover's defense would not allow the Poets to get off a shot.

Overall, HC finished with a .481 shooting clip, making 22-of-52 shots. The Panthers also made 13-of-26 shots from behind the arc.

Hanover will look to close the calendar year with a win when the team travels to face Caltech (Calif.) at 5 p.m. (PT) – 8 p.m. (ET) – on Wednesday, Dec. 19.

Contact: Tyler Jester