Last-second basket trips Hanover; Nowicki tops 1,000

Jon Gerken scored with 0.7 seconds left to lift the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to a 62-61 victory against Hanover College’s men’s basketball team in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference nail-biter, Saturday, Dec. 15, in Terre Haute, Ind.

Senior guard Ryan Nowicki (Westfield, Ind.) scored 15 points for Hanover and became the 35th player in school history to record more than 1,000 career points (1,013). Sophomore guard Tim Bass (Indianapolis, Ind.) netted 16 points to lead the Panthers, which fell to 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the Heartland Conference.

Austin Weatherford had 16 points for Rose-Hulman, which posted its seventh straight win to improve to 9-1 overall and 4-0 in the league.

The squads were not more than three points apart during a 10-minute stretch late in the second half until Hanover used buckets from Bass and senior forward Brian Gunter (Louisville, Ky.) to surge ahead 61-55 with 2:26 left in the contest.

Gerken cut the Panthers’ lead in half with a three-pointer with 1:11 to play and the Engineers pulled within 61-60 on a Julian Strickland basket with 16 seconds to go.

After Hanover turned the ball over on its next possession, the Panthers’ defense nearly hawked Rose-Hulman into turnovers twice in the closing seconds before Gerken’s game-winner in the lane.

Hanover shot 52.1 percent from the floor (25-of-48), hit 6-of-7 free throws (85.7%) and committed just seven turnovers.

Rose-Hulman made 24-of-50 field goals (48%), including 11 from three-point range, and outrebounded the Panthers, 30-20.

Nowicki entered the game with 998 career points and reached the 1,000-point mark on a basket in the lane with 7:19 left in the first half. He is just the seventh Hanover player since 2000 to achieve the milestone.

Bass and Gunter scored seven points apiece to help Hanover grab a 31-22 lead at halftime. The Panthers led 42-31 after a Nowicki jumper five minutes into the second period.

Rose-Hulman, however, used an 11-0 run during a three-minute span to tie the game at 42-42 and set up the nip-and-tuck battle to the final horn.

Hanover at Rose-Hulman statistics