Panthers extend winning streak with 93-56 win over Transylvania

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HANOVER, Ind. - Junior Cam Fails (Mason, Ohio) scored 23 points and senior Wes McKinney (Batesville, Ind.) added 20 to help lead the Hanover men's basketball team to its sixth consecutive victory, a 93-56 win over visiting Transylvania Wednesday evening in Collier Arena. 

The two teams entered the contest with identical 13-4 overall records and 8-2 marks in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, but it would be the Panthers that improved to 14-4 overall and 9-2 in the league, while the Pioneers fall to 13-5 overall and 8-3 in conference action. 

Fails opened the scoring with a three-pointer only to see Transylvania score the next five points for an early two-point edge. That was the last lead the Pioneers would have as freshman Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) and McKinney followed with lay-ups to regain the lead at 7-5. 

A Transylvania lay-up would tie the game at 9-9, but the Blue and Red answered with a 9-2 run, including three-pointers by McKinney and Fails to make it 18-11. 

The Pioneers pulled within six points (21-16) at the 8:36 mark, but would get no closer the remainder of the way. McKinney and sophomore Logan Ratts (Martinsville, Ind.) hit back-to-back shots from beyond the arc with McKinney adding a free throw to push the lead to double digits (28-16) with 6:40 to go in the opening period. 

The lead was cut to eight with 4:26 on the clock, but a 15-6 run by Hanover to close the half made it 47-30 at the intermission. The Panthers only made two more field goals than Transylvania in the opening half, but made four more three pointers and 10 more free throws for the 17-point advantage.

The second half continued much like the first half ended as the Pioneers had no answer for the Panthers. The Blue and Red extended the lead to 28 points at the midway-point of the second half and would go on to win its third game of the season by 37 or more points.

Hanover made a season-high 33 free throws in the game to go along with a 44-35 advantage in rebounds. The Panthers shot 47.3% (26-55) from the field, while limiting Transylvania to only 34.0% (18-53), including only 5 of 18 from long range. 

The game also marked the fourth time the Blue and Red have scored 90 or more points. They are now 4-0 in those contests. 

Fails notched his fifth game of 20 or more points. It was his second straight 20-point effort and third in the last four games. He made five of his seven shots from the floor, including all three three-point attempts and was a perfect 10 of 10 at the charity stripe.

For McKinney, it was his seventh game of 20 or more points. He also knocked down three three's and hit nine of his 10 free throw attempts. Junior Nick White (New Albany, Ind.) had a solid game. The third-year forward finished with 10 points and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds in 17 minutes of action. 

Hanover will look to continue its winning ways Saturday, Jan. 27 against Bluffton. The HCAC game is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. in Bluffton, Ohio.

Contact: Mike Pritchard