HANOVER, Ind. – After back-to-back road games, the Hanover men's basketball team will return to the friendly confines of Collier Arena this weekend to take on Anderson.
The Panthers (15-5, 10-3 HCAC) and Ravens are scheduled to open a men's-women's doubleheader, in Hanover, at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 3.
FAILS NEARING 1,000 CAREER POINTS: Junior Cam Fails (Mason, Ohio) is just two points away from becoming the 37th Hanover men's basketball player to reach 1,000 for his career. The junior has averaged double-digit point totals in each of his first two-plus seasons with the squad, including a team high 17.1 points per game this year. Fails is near the milestone after a strong scoring effort in January, where he averaged 22.0 points per contest, shooting 55.5 percent from the field.
THE TEAMS: Prior to an overtime loss last time out, Hanover had won seven straight games, with three of the squad's victories coming at home. The Blue and Red dropped just two games in January, posting an unblemished 7-0 record against opponents other than Rose-Hulman. During the winning streak, HC outscored its opponents by an average margin of 17.3 points per outing.
The Panthers, who are currently receiving votes in the D3hoops.com National Top 25 poll, have been ranked as high as No. 4 this year, which came in the preseason edition. The team, which as of Monday has at least received votes in 16 straight polls, also spent an additional week in the top five earlier this season.
Hanover continues to rank among the nation's best in multiple statistical categories including scoring defense. After another stout performance Wednesday, where HC held Rose-Hulman to 59 points in regulation, the team is allowing 64.4 points per game, which is 15th in NCAA Division III. Despite a poor shooting performance earlier this week, the Blue and Red are still among the top 20 in the country in field goal percentage (49.2) and scoring margin (+12.7).
Anderson had dropped five straight games prior to bouncing back with a 90-66 home triumph over Defiance this past Wednesday. The Ravens, who are 4-4 in true road games this year, are 10-10 overall and 5-8 in HCAC play.
Offense has been the theme for AU this season, tallying 81.2 points per game and a .495 shooting clip, both of which rank in the top three of the HCAC. The Ravens have topped 90 points six times this season, including a pair of outings in the triple digits.
LAST TIME OUT: Fails scored 25 points and classmate Nick White (New Albany, Ind.) tallied his first career double-double, but it was not enough as Rose-Hulman outlasted the Panthers in overtime, 68-66. To go along with 13 points, White set career highs in rebounds (11) and assists (4), while his three blocks also tied a personal best.
Trailing for most of the game, Fails nailed a three-pointer with five seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 59-all. White appeared to give HC the victory in regulation, but his turnaround jumper left his hand after the final buzzer, sending the game to overtime. A 5-0 scoring spurt near the end of the extra period helped secure the win for the Engineers.
UP NEXT: Hanover will trek to Earlham for its final road game of the regular season, as the Panthers and Quakers are slated for a 7:30 p.m. tip on Wednesday, Feb. 7. The Blue and Red will then host Manchester, Mt. St. Joseph and Defiance in the final three contests of the regular season.
Contact: Tyler Jester