HANOVER, Ind. – Behind a season high 25 points from junior Cam Fails (Mason, Ohio), the Hanover men's basketball team won its fifth straight overall, defeating Franklin at home Saturday, 74-65.
Fails now has four 20-plus point games thise season, including two of the past three outings. The junior poured in 16 points during the first half of play and finished shooting 8-of-14 from the field and 4-for-5 from long range.
The Panthers (13-4, 8-2 HCAC) had two other players score in double figures in junior Nick White (New Albany, Ind.) and senior Wes McKinney (Batesville, Ind.). White netted all four of his field goal tries in the second half, finishing with 14 points. McKinney also posted a strong second half, scoring eight of his 13 points over the final 20 minutes of play.
Hanover's group effort on the glass led to four players recording four or more rebounds, with senior Colin Smith (Cincinnati, Ohio) leading the way with five. The Blue and Red and Franklin (4-13, 3-7 HCAC) each posted 28 rebounds in the contest.
The difference in the game came at the charity stripe, as Hanover tallied 13 more points than FC, going 17-of-22 (.773). The Panthers fouled just six times in the game, while the Grizzlies committed 20 fouls over 40 minutes.
Franklin led early on, but after a technical foul on the Grizzlies' head coach, Hanover tallied a 10-0 scoring run to take a 32-27 lead with 5:34 remaining in the first half. McKinney accounted for five of HC's points during the run, all of which came at the foul line.
Overall, Hanover finished the final 8:20 of the opening half on a 17-4 run, taking a 39-31 edge into the intermission. Both sides shot over 50 percent in the first half, but HC went 5-of-8 from deep and 10-of-12 at the line to earn the scoreboard advantage.
After conceding the opening two points of the second half, Hanover scored 11 of the next 16 to take its largest lead of the game, 15 points, at 50-35 with 16:15 left to play. Fails, McKinney and White combined to score the first 12 HC points to give the team a double-digit advantage.
Franklin was able to close the gap to nine points, but a 9-3 run by HC resulted in a 65-50 edge for the Panthers with 5:15 to play. The Grizzlies would continue to pull within single digits late, but a long rebound by Fails led to a runaway layup, giving the Blue and Red an 11-point advantage, 72-61, with just under two minutes remaining.
Fails would go on to add a pair of free throws late, and sophomore Logan Ratts (Martinsville, Ind.) tallied a key steal off an in-bounds pass to help secure the win. Ratts had two of HC's seven steals in the contest.
For the game, Hanover made 26-of-51 field goal attempts, a .510 percentage, giving them five straight outings over 50 percent. Franklin also shot over 50 percent in the game, making 29-of-57 tries.
The Blue and Red have now won four straight against the Grizzlies and have also been on the right side of each of the last five meetings inside Collier Arena.
The Panthers will look to continue their winning ways when they welcome Transylvania for a 7:30 p.m. tip, Wednesday, Jan. 24.
Contact: Tyler Jester