Perimeter attack propels Hanover at Bluffton

The Hanover College men’s basketball squad got nearly 84 percent of its offensive production from its backcourt in a 79-66 victory against Bluffton University (Ohio). The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tilt was held Saturday, Feb. 9, in Bluffton, Ohio.

Hanover's guards combined for 66 points to lead the Panthers to the program's 11th triumph in its last 12 games and eighth win in its last nine against Bluffton.

Sophomore Tim Bass (Indianapolis, Ind.) netted a game-high 22 points and senior backcourt mate Drake Hendricks (Muncie, Ind.) had a season-best 18 to lead the Panthers. Sophomore Kyle James (Indianapolis, Ind.) posted 12 points, senior Ryan Nowicki (Westfield, Ind.) had eight and freshman Matt Wehner (Pendleton, Ind.) added six points.

Hanover, which never trailed in the game, shot higher than 50 percent from the field for the ninth time this season. The Panthers hit 26-of-51 attempts from the floor (51%), including 42.9 percent from three-point range (12-of-28).

Hendricks matched his season high with four three-pointers. James nailed three from long range, while Bass and Wehner hit two apiece to lead the onslaught from beyond the arc.

Hanover led by as many as 10 points (31-21) in the first half, but Bluffton cut the deficit in half with a late charge and trailed 36-31 at the break.

The Beavers remained within two possessions early in the second period before Bass scored six points and James and Wehner made back-to-back three pointers to increase the Panthers’ cushion to 17 points (54-37) with 14:24 left in the contest.

Hendricks later hit two of his three-pointers in a 90-second span to help Hanover build a 66-46 lead with 9:28 to play.

Bluffton eventually whittled the margin to 12 points (76-64) in the final minute, but James scored from long range to thwart any late rally.

With the triumph, Hanover improves to 16-7 overall and 13-3 in the Heartland Conference. The Panthers remain tied with Transylvania University (Ky.) for second place in the league standings. Both squads are two games behind the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology heading into the final week of the regular season.

Bluffton, meanwhile, fell to 10-13 overall and 6-10 in the conference with the setback.

Dustin Kinn scored 21 points and Will Pope added 20 to lead the Beavers.

Hanover at Bluffton (Ohio) statistics