Nationally ranked Panthers open conference play at Franklin

Nick White in defensive stance

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HANOVER, Ind. – Coming off a win over nationally ranked Ohio Wesleyan, the No. 7 Hanover men's basketball team will begin conference play at Franklin this Saturday.

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THE TEAMS: After completing a five-game non-conference portion of its schedule to open the season, Hanover sits at 4-1 overall with HCAC play on the horizon. The Panthers are 4-1 for the second straight year and will hope to return to the NCAA National Tournament just as they did in 2016-17. The Panthers appeared in their first NCAA Tournament Elite Eight game in program history during the 16-17 campaign.

Franklin has also competed five times prior to the HCAC opener, and hold a 1-4 overall mark. The Grizzlies are 1-2 at home this season and are coming off back-to-back losses at the Spurlock Center to Wheaton (Ill.) and Centre (Ky.).

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 154-91 record at HC.

Kerry Prather is currently serving his 34th year as the head coach of the Franklin Grizzlies. During his stint at FC, Prather has guided the Grizzlies to five NCAA and one NAIA National tournament appearance. Prather is also Franklin's Director of Athletics.

LAST TIME OUT: Hanover shot 59.6 percent from the floor, including a 63 percent second half en route to its second straight victory over a nationally ranked opponent, defeating Ohio Wesleyan 84-83. The Panthers, who never trailed, led by double digits for most of the contest before holding off a late rally from the Battling Bishops.

Junior Cam Fails (Mason, Ohio) scored a season high 23 points, as he made 4-of-5 attempts from behind the arc and 9-of-14 overall. Seniors Levi Buck (Pendleton, Ind.) and Wes McKinney (Batesville, Ind.), along with junior Nick White (New Albany, Ind.), all added double figure scoring efforts.

Leading a strong performance from the bench was sophomore Logan Ratts (Martinsville, Ind.), who tallied eight points, eight assists and four rebounds. Ratts' eight assists tied a career high.

UP NEXT: The Panthers will continue road conference play next week, traveling to face Transylvania at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 6. Hanover defeated Transy on three last-second scores a year ago, including the HCAC Tournament Semifinals.

Contact: Tyler Jester                                                                                    

jestert@hanover.edu