HANOVER, Ind. - The Hanover Panthers dominated Mount St. Joseph in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action Wednesday evening behind the career performance of junior Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.). Hanover (14-4 overall, 7-3 HCAC) knocked off the Lions 60-43 inside Collier Arena.
Hibbard paced the way for the Blue and Red notching his third double-double of the season with a career-high 25 points and 10 rebounds, breaking his previous best of 19 points set earlier this season. The junior went 9-of-15 (.600) from the floor with five steals and four assists. Sophomore Matt Weimer (Georgetown, Ind.) also found himself in double figures with 10 points, while senior Logan Ratts (Martinsville, Ind.) dished out a game-high six helpers.
As a unit, the Panthers finished the contest shooting 26-of-52 (.500) from the floor with game-highs in rebounds (37), assists (19) and steals (11).
Junior Isaac Hibbard brought the intensity early for the Panthers as he rattled off the teams first 11 points across a four minute span for the commanding lead. The hot hand continued for the junior point guard as he showed his range with a three-pointer at the 1:45 mark followed by a pair of free throws to push the difference to 19-5. Freshman Ty Houston (Union, Ky.) made his way into the scores column at the 7:23 mark after getting an assist from Ratts to extend the advantage.
The Panther offense fired on all cylinders as sophomore Christian Stewart (Clarksville, Ind.) entered the contest and dominated the teams post presence with back-to-back scores that saw Hanover blow the game wide open with just over three minutes remaining, 31-13. The streak carried into the intermission as the Panthers surged ahead to their largest first half lead in HCAC action this season, 33-17.
Hibbard appeared to be the driving force offensively going 6-for-8 (.750) from the floor, while the defense once again stifled their opponent allowing just five made field goals. Stewart closed out the period with a perfect 4-for-4 mark totalling eight of the teams 24 points in the paint.
The second half came with no let up from the Blue and Red as Hibbard surpassed his career-high with just over 16 minutes remaining in the contest to cap a Hanover run that pushed the advantage, 42-18. Weimer allowed his defense to generate the offense as he picked up an open court steal for a quick bucket. The Panthers never looked back as Hibbard's career night continued with a layup in the lane followed by a dish to senior Kevin Williams (Edingburgh, Ind.) that increased the Lion deficit.
With just over five minutes remaining in regulation, Ratts tallied a momentum steal that led to an easy layup on the opposing side before a Kevin Williams block erupted Collier Arena en route to the conference victory.
The Blue and Red return to action on Saturday, February 1 as they travel to Manchester. The HCAC clash between the Panthers and Spartans is set to tip-off at 3 PM.