Williams' double-double lifts Panthers over Manchester, 88-69

Kevin Williams

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Behind a strong shooting second half and a double-double from junior Kevin Williams (Edinburgh, Ind.), the Hanover men's basketball team defeated Manchester on the road Saturday afternoon in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play, 88-69.

Williams tallied the first double-double of his collegiate career, logging personal-best marks of 22 points and 10 rebounds in the win. The junior was a perfect eight-for-eight from the field and was six-for-six at the foul line as well. Williams' performance moves him into the top spot in the HCAC in season field goal percentage at .768.

Pacing the Panther attack was senior Cam Fails (Cincinnati, Ohio), who's 30 points gave him 20-plus points in each of his last eight outings. The senior fell two points shy of tying his career scoring high, as he made 16-of-19 free throw attempts Saturday. Fails added five rebounds and three assists as well.

Sophomore Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) scored 14 of his season-high 17 points in the second half, as he also grabbed seven boards and dished out three assists. Hibbard and Fails combined for 35 of Hanover's 49 second half points. Overall, the scoring trio of Hibbard, Fails and Williams accounted for nearly 80 percent of the HC offense.

Off the bench, junior Ryan Cloncs (Danville, Ind.) tallied eight points, six of which came in the first half. Cloncs also recorded three rebounds, as Hanover enjoyed a 43-33 edge on the glass.

The Panthers (9-4, 4-2 HCAC) got off to a strong start, making four of their first six field goal attempts to go in front 14-5 just over four minutes in. Hanover though, would be held without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes, as Manchester (5-8, 2-4 HCAC) used a 23-3 run to take its largest lead of the game, 13 points, at 32-19 with 5:44 remaining in the first half.

The Blue and Red finally scored on a Williams layup at the 5:21 mark and closed the first half by scoring on nine of its last 10 offensive possessions. Hanover's efficiency led to a 39-36 advantage at the break.

During the second half, HC shot 68 percent (17-25) from the field and made 14-of-19 free throw attempts to outscore the Spartans by 16 points. The Blue and Red opened the half with a quick 6-0 scoring spurt, a run that would eventually grow to 10-2, as they led by double figures, 49-38, with 16:56 left to play.

A 7-0 run, capped by a jumper from junior Christian Reed (Sellersburg, Ind.), had the Panther lead up to 16 points, 56-40, with 13:29 remaining. Hanover's advantage would balloon to as many as 21 down the stretch as the team cruised to its fourth conference win of the season.

After its hot shooting second half, HC finished with an overall field goal percentage of .491, while holding MU to a .420 clip. Hanover also enjoyed a 21-point edge at the charity stripe, where the team finished 28-of-37, a .757 shooting mark.

The Panthers will look for their fifth win in six games when they close their current five-game road stretch with a 7:30 p.m. tip at Earlham next Wednesday, Jan. 9.

Contact: Tyler Jester