Men's basketball falls in HCAC opener

Junior Desmond Marks (Bloomington, Ind.) notched a double-double and three other Panthers scored in double-digits, but the Hanover College men’s basketball team fell to Franklin College, 74-68, in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener in Collier Arena.

Marks scored 13 points and tied game-high honors with 10 rebounds, while classmates Tim Bass (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Kyle James (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored 17 and 12 points, respectively.

Sophomore forward V.J. Billups (Jeffersonville, Ind.) was the fourth Panther to reach double digits with 11 points.

Hanover jumped out to an early 7-2 lead at the 18:26 mark as Marks scored five consecutive points to spark the Panthers.

Franklin’s Troy Porter answered with the first of his game-high five three-pointers and Bailey Howard followed with a driving layup to even the score at 7-7 just two minutes into the game.

The teams traded buckets for the next few minutes with a Porter jumper pushing the Franklin lead to eight (20-28) with 7:54 left in the first half.

Hanover responded with a 10-4 run to pull within two points (30-32) at the 5:01 mark.

Billups scored on two drives and converted two free throws during this swing, igniting the Panthers' offense and forcing a Grizzly timeout.

A Marks lay-up pulled Hanover to a 34-34 tie with 3:54 left in the first half and the Panthers clawed their way through a 20-10 run to lead at intermission 40-38.

Hanover shot 38.5 percent (15-of-39) from the floor in the first half, while Franklin shot 46.9 percent (15-of-32).

Both teams began the second half with intensity, forcing eight lead changes in the first six minutes.

A trey by Kyle James gave Hanover a 51-49 lead at the 14:33 mark.

On the next possession, Billups corralled a Franklin miss and Bass worked his way into the lane to put Hanover ahead 53-49.

The Panthers were unable to build on this, holding a slim 62-60 lead at the 7:44 mark.

Howard scored on three consecutive possessions, keying a 14-6 Franklin run to take the lead.

The Panthers battled, with freshman center Corey Muchmore (Cincinnati, Ohio) blocking a Howard jumper at the 2:09 mark. Billups corralled the block, scoring on a fast break lay-up and netting the ensuing free-throw to pull within three (69-66).

Franklin scored on the following play to regain a 67-66 advantage, before fouling Bass.

Bass sank both free throws (71-68) with 1:28 to play, but the Panthers were forced to foul on ensuing possessions, putting the game out of reach.  

Hanover out-rebounded Franklin 45-40 and forced 12 turnovers.

Hanover shot 26-of-69 (37.7%) from the field, while Franklin shot 47.5 percent (29-of-61).

Dion Smith matched Marks with 10 rebounds to accompany 18 points, while Howard and Sargent tallied 13 and 14 points apiece.

The loss drops Hanover's record to 3-2 overall and 0-1 HCAC, while Franklin improves to 4-2 and 1-0 in the league.

Hanover vs. Franklin statistics