HANOVER, Ind. – Junior Wes McKinney (Batesville, Ind.) of the Hanover men's basketball team helped secure the program's first NCAA Elite Eight appearance after stunning a crowd of 3,000-plus at Hope (Mich.) with a buzzer-beating jumper, earning our top moment from the 2016-17 year.
The 2016-17 athletic campaign was one to remember for the Hanover College Athletic Department, so over the past few weeks we have recalled some of the top moments from the year that was. Today marks the finale of our inaugural summer series countdown.
Trailing by 11 points at halftime, the Panthers responded with nine of the first 11 points out of the break to cut the No. 18 Flying Dutchmen lead to 47-43, less than three minutes into the second stanza.
After falling behind by double figures again, a McKinney three pointer capped an 11-4 scoring spurt to close the gap to 59-56, but once more, Hope pushed the lead to 10 points, 66-56, with 7:21 left to play.
The Panthers, who became known for late game heroics, totaling six game-winning shots in final second situations, rallied to take a three-point lead, 71-68, with just over three minutes remaining. The back-and-forth affair saw Hope regain the lead at 77-75 with 26.9 seconds remaining after a pair of free throws.
On Hanover's next possession, senior Corey Muchmore (Cincinnati, Ohio) grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a put back, tying the game at 77-all with 2.6 seconds left in regulation. The ensuing Hope inbounds pass was deflected by freshman Logan Ratts (Martinsville, Ind.) off a Flying Dutchmen guard, giving the Panthers possession under their offensive basket with just over one-tick left on the clock.
Out of a timeout, McKinney came around a pair of screens on the right block, catching the inbounds pass near the right corner, where his fade away jumper hit the bottom of the net as time expired. The shot gave HC a 79-77 victory in the NCAA Round of 16.
McKinney, a D3Hoops.com fourth team All-American and CoSIDA second team academic All-American, totaled a team high 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting, while also grabbing five rebounds. Muchmore added 20 points and five rebounds as well.
Hanover's magical season, which saw the team go 26-4 overall and win the HCAC regular season and tournament titles, ended the NCAA Elite Eight with a loss to eventual national runner-up, Augustana (Ill.). The Panthers finished No. 7 in the D3Hoops.com National Poll, which tied the team's highest ranking to end a season since the 2004-05 campaign.
To go along with his national accolades, McKinney was named HCAC Men's Basketball Player of the Year, as well as the conference's Male Athlete of the Year. Sophomore Cam Fails (Mason, Ohio) also garnered first team all-HCAC honors, while Muchmore was named to the second team.
Head coach Jon Miller enjoyed his best season at the helm for the Blue and Red, as he earned Coach of the Year accolades by the HCAC, the NABC Great Lakes District and D3Hoops' Great Lakes Region. Miller also won his 200th career game with a 118-65 decision against Ohio State-Lima at Defiance (Ohio), where Miller began his head coaching career.
To review the other top moments in our countdown, visit the links below.
Contact: Tyler Jester