HANOVER, Ind. – The Blue and Red remained perfect inside Collier Arena as they defeated Bluffton in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon, 63-44.
The Panthers (10-3 overall, 4-2 HCAC) finished the contest shooting 51.1 percent from the floor including seven three-pointers. Pacing the way for Hanover was senior Kevin Williams (Edinburgh, Ind.), sophomore Matt Weimer (Georgetown, Ind.) and junior Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) all in double-digits. Williams finished with a team-high 12 points, while Weimer added 11 points and Hibbard 10 points.
Both teams looked to push the tempo early in the first half as the Bluffton full court press provided fits when a junior Mark Albers (Pendleton, Ind.) three-pointer at the 17 minute mark gave HC the slim advantage. The fast pace battle continued as the Beavers began to find their groove using a short run to claim the 15-10 lead before a Hibbard deep ball stole the momentum and knotted the contest once more, 15-15.
The Panthers dominated the offensive boards in the first half using a pair of second chance shots to spark an 8-0 run with just over 10 minutes remaining to claim their largest lead, 23-15. The hot shooting continued late into the half for the Blue and Red as freshman Ty Houston (Union, Ky.) made his way into the score's column with a layup in the lane that gave Hanover the 39-31 halftime advantage. The Panthers finished the half with 13 total rebounds, including four offensive boards totaling eight second chance points.
Kevin Williams got Collier Arena rocking early in the second half as dimes from Hibbard and senior Blake Robertson (Greenfield, Ind.) gave HC the 43-33 separation. The key run came midway through the half when senior Logan Ratts (Martinsville, Ind.) dealt clutch on the defensive end getting a steal that resulted in a pair of free throws that gave HC the 50-42 lead with 6:38 to play. Robertson provided the game sealing dagger from three-point as a little inside out game with Williams secured the conference victory.
The Blue and Red return to action on Wednesday, January 15 when they welcome Transylvania to Collier Arena as part of their three-game home stint. Tip-off with the Pioneers is set for 7:30 PM.