No. 7 Panthers host Ohio Wesleyan in top 20 showdown

Team huddle

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HANOVER, Ind. – For the first time in three seasons, the No. 7 Hanover men's basketball team will host a nationally ranked opponent, as they welcome No. 16 Ohio Wesleyan for its home opener Wednesday evening.

The Panthers will host the Battling Bishops at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 29, which is also the three-year anniversary of the last nationally ranked foe to enter Collier Arena. Hanover defeated then No. 5 Wooster (Ohio), 70-57, in 2014.

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TEAMS: With the first four games of the season away from home, Hanover finds itself with a 3-1 overall record, and the only blemish coming against nationally-ranked Wooster last time out. The Panthers are looking to carry momentum from the 2016-17 over to the early portions of the new campaign, as they went 26-4, while also advancing to the NCAA Division III Tournament Elite Eight.

Ohio Wesleyan is also yet to play a home game during the 2017-18 season, as they cap a five-game stretch away from the confines of Branch Rickey Arena with the contest against HC. The Battling Bishops are a perfect 4-0 to start the new season and are averaging a gaudy 91.3 points per game.  

Both teams will be looking for a win to take into conference action this weekend, with Hanover opening HCAC play at Franklin and OWU hosting DePauw in their NCAC opener.

THE COACHES: The Panthers will have a familiar face on the bench this season, as Jon Miller ('97) returns for his 10th season at the helm of his alma mater. Miller recorded his 200th career coaching victory last season and currently holds a 153-91 record at HC.

Mike DeWitt is in his 19th season at the helm of the Ohio Wesleyan men's basketball program and is also currently serving as one of three associate athletic directors for the department. DeWitt led the Bishops to a NCAC regular season title in 2016-17, and has guided the team to 20 or more wins in six straight seasons.

LAST TIME OUT: Hanover is coming off its only loss through the first four games of the new season, falling at Wooster, 87-79. The Panthers were led by senior Wes McKinney (Batesville, Ind.) who poured in a season high 26 points. Juniors Nick White (New Albany, Ind.) and Cam Fails (Mason, Ohio) added 15 and 13 points respectively, while sophomore Logan Ratts (Martinsville, Ind.) drained all three of his shots from long-range, totaling 11 points.

UP NEXT: Hanover will break from non-conference play and travel to face Franklin in what will be the HCAC opener for both teams. The Panthers and Grizzlies are slated for a 3 p.m. tip on Saturday, Dec. 2.

Contact: Tyler Jester       

jestert@hanover.edu