Hanover falls to Bluffton, 76-66

Hanover College’s men’s basketball squad lost to Bluffton University (Ohio), 76-66, in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference battle in Collier Arena.

Junior Tim Bass (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored 23 points to lead Hanover, while sophomore forwards V.J. Billups (Jeffersonville, Ind.) and Evan Bingham (Louisville, Ky.) added 11 apiece.

Hanover, which had beaten Bluffton three straight times heading into the contest, slipped to 12-7 overall and 8-4 in the HCAC with the setback.

Billy Taflinger scored 32 points and Thayne Recker added 14 points and game-best 13 rebounds to spark the Beavers, which snapped an eight-game losing streak with the win.

Hanover led 29-27 at the break and held a 42-38 lead after a three-point play by Bingham with 11:48 left in the contest.

Bluffton (7-12; 3-9 HCAC) outscored the Panthers 19-7 through the following seven minutes to build a 57-49 lead with fewer than five minutes to play.

Recker hit two free throws and scored from inside to help stretch the Beavers’ lead to 63-51 with 1:37 remaining.

Bass, who scored 15 points in the second half, tallied 11 in a 49-second span to trim the margin to 68-62 with just 43 seconds on the clock.

Hanover, however, made only one of its next four shots from the field while Bluffton canned seven straight free throws to expand the advantage to 75-62 with 11 seconds to go.

Junior forward Jacob Steinhart (Mount Vernon, Ind.) and Bass each scored from inside during the closing seconds to shave the margin to 10 points.

The Panthers were 20-of-55 from the floor (36.4%), but converted 22-of-28 free throws (78.6%).

Bluffton, which outrebounded Hanover by a 36-24 margin, finished 22-of-42 from the field (52.4%) and 30-of-38 from the charity stripe (78.9%).

Hanover vs. Bluffton (Ohio) statistics