First Half Woes Doom Panthers in Contest with Earlham

First Half Woes Doom Panthers in Contest with Earlham

HANOVER, Ind. – Hanover College celebrated Alumni Day as they welcomed Earlham to Collier Arena in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action Saturday afternoon. The Blue and Red battled tough but were unable to overcome a first half 14-point deficit as they fell to the Quakers 70-65.

Hanover (11-4 overall, 5-3 HCAC) was led in the contest by senior Kevin Williams (Edinburgh, Ind.) with a team-high 12 points, while junior Connor Washburn (Fishers, Ind.) added 10 points.

The Panthers and Quakers went basket for basket early in the opening half when Earlham delivered a 5-0 run for the 10-4 cushion. The hot shooting continued for EC with back-to-back scores including a deep ball with just over 13 minutes to play to extend the lead to double digits.

The Blue and Red looked to halt the Quakers with an inside game as Washburn went to work with an assist from junior Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.). Hibbard continued to battle the Quaker defense taking the ball cost to cost drawing a foul for a pair of free throws at the 10:52 mark cutting the deficit, 24-12. However, the Quaker offense fired on all cylinders finishing the opening half shooting 66.7 percent from the floor en route to the 40-26 halftime advantage.

The Blue and Red cranked up the intensity in the second half using a 10-0 run over a three-minute span, led by Williams and senior Logan Ratts (Martinsville, Ind.), to cut the difference to 45-38. The excitement inside Collier Arena erupted as a junior Mark Albers (Pendleton, Ind.) deep ball and a Washburn layup saw the Panthers pull within four.

Albers deemed clutch again with just under 10 to play as he delivered a blow that kept the difference at 55-50. The chess match surged late into the half with neither team giving an inch when an Earlham jumper as the shot clock expired pushed the advantage back to double digits. But the Panthers rallied with another run that found them trialing just 63-58 before Earlham sealed the contest at the charity stripe to move to 7-8 overall on the year.

The Panthers return to action on Wednesday, January 22 with a trip to Anderson. Tip-off with the Ravens is set for 7:30 PM.