Four players reached double digits as the Hanover College men’s basketball team collected their first win of the new year with 81-58 victory against the College of Mount St. Joseph (Ohio). The match-up was held Wednesday, Jan. 2, at the Harrington Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Senior guard Ryan Nowicki (Westfield, Ind.) notched a game-high 15 points as the Panthers improved to a 3-2 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference record and 6-6 overall. Mount St. Joseph was previously undefeated in league play and falls to 5-7 overall and 4-1 HCAC.
Senior forward Brian Gunter (Louisville, Ky.) scored on the first possession of the game and the Panthers surged to 12-6 lead. Gunter led Hanover with six rebounds to accompany 13 points.
A V.J. Evans three-pointer cut the Panther lead to 14-11 at the 12:40 mark before freshman forward Michael Van Kleunen (Mason, Ohio) scored five straight points to spark a 13-3 Hanover run.
Freshman forward Jacob Steinhart (Mount Vernon, Ind.) hit a three-pointer with three seconds left on the clock, pushing the margin to 43-24 at intermission. Steinhart finished the game with 11 points.
The Panthers shot 50.0 percent (17-of-34) from the field in the first half and sank all four free-throw attempts, while holding the Lions to 16.7 percent (1-of-6) from three-point range.
Hanover quickly pressed the lead to 21 points off a Desmond Marks (Bloomington, Ind.) free throw 1:34 into the second period.
A Ken Kunkel three-pointer sparked a 15-3 run, cutting the Panthers' lead to 50-41 with 12:40 to play.
The teams traded buckets before sophomore point guard Tim Bass (Indianapolis, Ind.) found Nowicki for a run-breaking three-pointer at the 9:11 mark.
Bass scored 11 points, dished four assists and collected five steals, as the Panthers snapped a five-game losing streak.
Leading 59-47, the Panthers erupted for a 21-5 run, putting the game out of reach.
The Panthers continued their hot shooting in the second half, hitting 6-of-15 three-pointers (40.0%) and 50.0 percent (13-of-26) from the field. For the game, the Panthers shot 50.0 percent from the floor on 30-of-60 shooting and 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from the free-throw line.
Hanover forced 17 turnovers and secured 10 steals.
Ken Kunkel led the Lions with 14 points, while David Mann chipped in 10.
Published Wednesday, January 2, 2013