First half run powers Panthers past Ravens

Logan Ratts

Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter

HANOVER, Ind. - The Hanover men's basketball team closed out the first half on a 24-6 run Saturday and never looked back, beating the Anderson Ravens 78-51 to secure the Blue and Red's third consecutive victory against Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rivals.

After a back-and-forth beginning to the afternoon, the Panthers (11-4, 6-2 HCAC) held a narrow 18-17 margin with 9:56 left in the first half. From there, the 18-point swing would make it a 41-24 halftime advantage from which Anderson (6-9, 5-3 HCAC) could not recover. With their triumph, the Blue and Red moved into a four-way tie for first in conference standings, along with Bluffton (Ohio), Transylvania (Ky.), and Rose-Hulman (Ind.). 

Throughout the first 20 minutes, Hanover outshot the Ravens 53 percent (17-32) to 37 percent (10-27) from the field. From three-point territory the difference was a 7-for-11 Panther tally versus a one-for-seven mark for Anderson.

The momentum continued to swing in favor of the Blue and Red in the second half, and with 9:37 remaining they were on top 56-41. Hanover would once more record a large scoring run, this time outscoring the Ravens 22-7 in just over eight minutes to take a 78-48 lead, its largest of the game, with 1:30 left.

Senior Cam Fails (Cincinnati, Ohio) led Panther scoring for the 13th straight time with 19 points. Fails also notched seven assists after tying his career-game-high with eight helpers versus Earlham (Ind.) this past Wednesday, Jan. 9.

Junior Kevin Williams (Edinburgh, Ind.) added 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting to make this his third appearance in the last four in which he's been in double figures. On Jan. 5 at Manchester, Williams set a career-best with 22 points on a perfect eight-for-eight field goals. The junior still leads the HCAC in season field goal percentage at .743. 

Junior Ryan Cloncs (Danville, Ind.) contributed a season-high of nine points and set his personal-best mark with six rebounds. Cloncs has had seven-plus points in three consecutive outings as well as three or more boards in each contest over the same span.

Eleven players made their way onto the scoreboard, with the bench counting for 24 of the Blue and Red's 78 points. Three individuals in junior Logan Ratts (Martinsville, Ind.), junior Christian Reed (Sellersburg, Ind.), and freshman Zach Harp (Cincinnati, Ohio) paced the reserves with six points apiece. Ratts added four assists and three rebounds as well. 

Hanover will look to elongate their conference win streak to four when they take the floor at Collier Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 16, for a 7:30 p.m. showdown with the Lions of Mount St. Joseph.

Contact: Tyler Jester