Panthers prep for pair of home conference contests this week

Men's basketball celebrates after thrilling win over John Carroll

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HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover men’s basketball team will take its current eight-game winning streak into a pair of home Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference games this week.

The Panthers (11-1, 6-0 HCAC) will face two of the top three teams in overall winning percentage in the HCAC this season in Mount St. Joseph and Bluffton. Hanover and MSJ (10-3, 5-1 HCAC) will tip off in a battle between the top two teams in the HCAC standings at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11, a game which is being publicized as a white out for students and fans. The Blue and Red will then welcome Bluffton (8-4, 1-4 HCAC) for a 2 p.m. tip on Saturday, Jan. 14.

ABOUT HANOVER

The Panthers are coming off two conference road victories, as they defeated Rose-Hulman 93-63 last Wednesday before traveling to Earlham, where they won 59-58. Hanover has won eight straight games overall, tying its longest winning streak since the 2012-13 season. Two wins this week would give HC its longest winning streak since the 2003-04 season, where the team finished 26-2 overall.

Hanover received a clutch performance from senior Corey Muchmore (Cincinnati, Ohio) in the win over EC, as he recorded his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Muchmore also defended the game’s last shot which was a miss from the Quakers at the right elbow.

On the season, Muchmore leads the HCAC and is fifth in the NCAA in field goal shooting percentage, sitting at .685. The senior is averaging 14.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest.

The Panthers have been one of the best shooting teams in the country this year, ranking third in NCAA Division III in field goal percentage at .525. Hanover is also shooting 39.9 percent from three-point range, ranking among the top 30 in the nation.

Leading the way offensively is junior Wes McKinney (Batesville, Ind.), who ranks second in the HCAC in scoring at 20.8 points per contest. McKinney also paces the HCAC in rebounds per game at 8.4. McKinney made 11-of-21 three-point attempts last week, and is currently first in the HCAC and 25th with a .470 shooting clip from behind the arc.

With the return of sophomore Cam Fails (Mason, Ind.) last week, HC now has a dynamic duo at the point guard position. Fails and freshman Logan Ratts (Martinsville, Ind.) averaged a combined 22.5 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.5 steals per game last week. Ratts has started each of the past seven games, and has scored in double figures in three straight games and five of the last six contests. Fails returned to action last Wednesday, where he scored 14 points, as he is averaging 13.1 points per game this year.

The Blue and Red have been particularly hot from the field recently, as they have shot over 50 percent in five of their past six games. Hanover’s .449 shooting clip against Earlham marked their lowest field goal percentage since Nov. 23.

Contact: Tyler Jester

jestert@hanover.edu

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