HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover men's basketball team suffered its first loss of the season Tuesday evening, as nationally-ranked Wooster (Ohio) pulled away late for a 57-47 decision inside Collier Arena.
With scoring hard to come by for both teams, the Panthers (3-1) were able to erase a double-digit deficit in the second half to pull within one point with 3:20 left to play.
The No. 21 Fighting Scots (3-0) though, did not concede another point to HC and converted on their free throw attempts down the stretch to win by 10 points. Both sides were held to more than 40 points under their respective season scoring averages.
Senior Cam Fails (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the Panthers with 20 points. Fails added five rebounds and tied for the team-high in steals with two.
Junior Blake Robertson (Greenfield, Ind.) tallied a career-high nine rebounds in the loss. Robertson was also the second leading scorer for HC at six points.
Overall, both sides shot under 40 percent from the field, as the main difference was that Wooster made eight shots from behind the arc, while HC netted just one. Hanover though, did own a 30-16 advantage on points in the paint.
The Panthers jump out to an early lead, 7-3, as Fails and freshman Zach Harp (Cincinnati, Ohio) combined for all seven points. Wooster though, rallied to score the next 13 points, forcing HC into two quick timeouts. The Fighting Scots led 16-7 with 12:11 remaining in the first half.
The Blue and Red were able to claw back within three points with a 6-0 spurt of their own, cutting the deficit to 16-13. As the theme was all night though, Wooster would once again extend its lead back out, taking a 24-13 edge with just over eight minutes remaining in the half.
Hanover and Wooster would trade baskets over the final eight minutes of the half, leaving the Scots with a 35-27 lead at the intermission. Fails had 12 of his game-high point total in the first half. Wooster made seven of its eight three-pointers over the opening 20-minute period.
The Panthers once again rallied to pull within four points, 41-37, but a nearly six-minute scoring drought had HC down 48-37 with 8:52 remaining. Hanover proceeded to score the next 10 points, capped by a layup from junior Christian Reed (Sellersburg, Ind.) to pull within one point, 48-47.
The Blue and Red will return to action at 7 p.m., next Wednesday, Nov. 28, when they travel to face Ohio Wesleyan. The Panthers defeated the nationally-ranked Battling Bishops at home last season, 84-83.
Contact: Tyler Jester