Offense heats up late in Panthers' win at Earlham

Zach Harp

RICHMOND, Ind. – The Hanover men's basketball team closed its Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game at Earlham on a 30-9 run en route to an 83-57 victory Wednesday evening.

Leading by just five points with 11:12 remaining, the Panthers (10-4, 5-2 HCAC) made 12 of their final 16 shots, including four makes from three-point range, to run away with their second straight conference win and 13th consecutive victory over the Quakers (3-11, 2-5 HCAC).

Ten different players scored for HC, who was led by senior Cam Fails (Cincinnati, Ohio) with 19 points. Fails also set a new career-best mark in rebounds, eight, while tying his personal record in assists with eight as well.

Off the bench, freshman Zach Harp (Cincinnati, Ohio) and junior Christian Reed (Sellersburg, Ind.) combined for 27 points, as the Blue and Red enjoyed a 34-27 edge in reserve scoring. Harp went five-for-six from deep for his 15 points, which saw him net three treys during the game-closing run. Reed added 12 points on six-of-six shooting, while also pacing the Panthers with three steals.

For the ninth consecutive game, sophomore Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) scored in double figures, tallying 10 points. Hibbard added four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals as well. Juniors Blake Robertson (Greenfield, Ind.) and Ryan Cloncs (Danville, Ind.), both of whom started, combined for 16 points and nine rebounds.

After giving up the opening basket of the contest, HC used an 11-0 scoring run to take control of the game. The defense held the Quakers to just two points over the first seven minutes of play.

The first half advantage would grow to as many as 10 points for the Panthers, 27-17, but Earlham rallied to close its halftime deficit to five points at 33-28.

After shooting 41.4 percent in the first half, Hanover netted 18-of-27 (.667) field goal attempts in the second half to finish with an overall shooting clip of .545. Meanwhile, EC was held to a .361 overall field goal percentage.

The Panthers also enjoyed a 39-31 edge on the glass and a 32-16 advantage in paint points. Seven different players for HC had at least three rebounds, including all five starters.

Hanover, who has now concluded a five-game road stretch, will return home for a 2 p.m. contest against Anderson this Saturday, Jan. 12. The game will be the first of a men's-women's doubleheader inside Collier Arena.

Contact: Tyler Jester