HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover men's basketball team jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, cruising to a 90-54 home victory over Earlham in HCAC action Wednesday evening.
The Panthers (10-4, 5-2 HCAC) opened the first four minutes of the contest on a 14-4 run, making six of their first seven field goal attempts.
Senior Wes McKinney (Batesville, Ind.) scored nine of HC's first 16 points, as he finished with a team high 22 in the game. McKinney's point total Wednesday moved him into 12th on the program's all-time scoring list at 1,406.
Adding 12 of his 16 points in the first half was junior Cam Fails (Mason, Ohio). The junior also tallied four steals, giving him multiple swipes in six consecutive games.
Fails and McKinney combined for 31 first half points as the Blue and Red led by a count of 48-27 at the intermission. Hanover netted 18-of-34 field goal tries in the opening 20 minutes, shooting close to 53 percent.
Off the bench, sophomore Blake Robertson (Greenfield, Ind.) drained five shots from behind the arc for the second time in four games, finishing 5-of-6 from the 3-point range for 15 points. Classmate Jacob Bray (Crestwood, Ky.) added all eight of his points over the final 6:18 of play. Behind Robertson and Bray, the Panthers' bench outscored the Quaker (3-11, 1-6 HCAC) reserves 41-17.
Earlham was able to cut the deficit to 18 points early in the second half, but HC would score 27 of the next 36 points to push its lead to 75-39 with 8:10 remaining. A pair of three pointers from Robertson capped the scoring spurt.
Hanover's lead ballooned to as many as 40 points, 90-50, over the closing minutes, as the team secured its 11th straight victory over the Quakers. The Blue and Red are now one win shy of tying its longest winning streak all-time against Earlham, which was set from 1976-82.
The Panthers finished with a 50 percent (33-66) shooting clip for the second straight outing and for the fourth time in the past six games. The Blue and Red also held EC to under 40 percent shooting, as the Quakers, who came in averaging over 80 points per game, finished 19-for-48.
Hanover capitalized on Earlham's 15 giveaways, outscoring the Quakers in points off turnovers, 30-9. The Panthers themselves, took care of the ball, posting a season low five giveaways.
Rebounds were also in favor of HC, 36-29, as the Blue and Red also turned nine offensive boards into a 13-3 edge in second chance points. The Panthers continued to add to their advantage down low, outscoring EC 40-22 in the paint.
Hanover, who has won back-to-back HCAC games for the second time this season, will return to the road for its next contest, traveling to face Anderson at 4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 13.
Contact: Tyler Jester