Second half scoring spurt sends Panthers past Spartans, 86-74

Christian Reed

HANOVER, Ind. – Junior Cam Fails (Mason, Ohio) and sophomore Christian Reed (Sellersburg, Ind.) each tallied career high scoring efforts and the Hanover men's basketball team rallied past Manchester Saturday, winning at home, 86-74.

Both Panther scoring highs came off the bench, with Fails pouring in 32 points and Reed adding 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Fails made all 12 of his free throw attempts to aid his scoring effort.

Reed and Fails combined for 33 points in the second half, as Hanover (18-5, 13-3 HCAC) outscored the Spartans (5-18, 3-13 HCAC) 50-31 over the final 20 minutes of play. After allowing over 40 points in the first half for just the third time this season, HC clamped down defensively, holding Manchester 12 percentage points lower in the second half than the opening 20 minutes of action.

The turning point for HC came at the 16:15 mark of the second half when a Manchester player was assessed a technical foul. The Blue and Red responded by scoring 13 of the next 18 points to take a 57-55 lead with 12:45 to play, their first advantage on the scoreboard since the opening minutes of the first half.

Still leading by two points, 67-65, HC used a 13-4 scoring spurt to push its advantage to 79-69 with 2:59 to play. Reed scored six of his points during the run as the Panthers played through the post late. Overall, the HC outscored the Spartans 44-22 in the paint.

Hanover then tallied six of the final eight points to hold off any Manchester run, securing its third straight win overall and seventh straight over the Spartans. The Blue and Red will enter the final week of the regular season in a three-way tie for first place with Mt. St. Joseph and Rose-Hulman.

Senior Wes McKinney (Batesville, Ind.) led the Hanover starters with 19 points. Classmate Colin Smith (Cincinnati, Ohio) posted a team with seven rebounds, while adding six points and two assists.

Pitching in with 10 points was freshman Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.). Hibbard netted 4-of-5 field goals and has now scored in double figures in four straight games.

After a slow start offensively, Hanover used a 67-pecent shooting effort in the second half to raise its overall field goal mark to .545. The Panthers also made 17-of-21 free throws in the second half to finish 24-for-31 for the game.

Hanover will look to continue its winning ways by welcoming Mt. St. Joseph for a 7:30 p.m. tip, Wednesday, Feb. 14.

Contact: Tyler Jester