Hanover got nearly 84 percent of its offensive production from its backcourt in a 79-66 victory over Bluffton (Ohio) in men's basketball Saturday on the road.

Hanover's guards combined for 66 points to lead the Panthers to their 11th triumph in the last 12 games and eighth win in its last nine meetings with Bluffton.

Tim Bass, a sophomore from Indianapolis, netted a game-high 22 points and senior backcourt mate Drake Hendricks, of Muncie, had a season-best 18 to lead the Panthers. Kyle James, a sophomore from Indianapolis, scored 12 points, while Ryan Nowicki had eight and Matt Wehner added six points.

Hanover, which never trailed in the game, shot better than 50 percent from the field for the ninth time this season. The Panthers hit 26-of-51 attempts from the floor (51 percent), including 42.9 percent from 3-point range (12-of-28).

Hendricks matched his season high with four 3-pointers. James nailed three from long range, while Bass and Wehner hit two each to lead the onslaught from beyond the arc.

Hanover led by as many as 10 points (31-21) in the first half, but Bluffton cut the deficit in half with a late charge and trailed 36-31 at the break.

The Beavers remained within two possessions early in the second period before Bass scored six points and James and Wehner made back-to-back 3-pointers to increase the Panthers' cushion to 17 points (54-37) with 14:24 left in the game.

Hendricks later hit two of his 3-pointers in a 90-second span to help Hanover build a 66-46 lead with 9:28 to play.

Bluffton eventually whittled the margin to 12 points (76-64) in the final minute, but James scored from long range to douse the comeback.

Dustin Kinn scored 21 points and Will Pope added 20 to lead the Beavers (10-13, 6-10 HCAC).

Hanover improves to 16-7 overall and 13-3 in the Heartland Conference. The Panthers remain tied with Transylvania (Ky.) for second place in the league standings. Both squads are two games behind Rose-Hulman heading into the final week of the regular season.



at Bluffton, Ohio


HANOVER (16-7, 13-3 HCAC) - (g)Bass 22, (g)Hendricks 18, James 12, (g)Nowicki 8, Wehner 6, Bingham 5, Van Kleunen 4, (f)Gunter 2, (c)Marks 2.

BLUFFTON (10-13, 6-10 HCAC) - (f)Kinn 21, (c)Pope 20, (g)Fisher 9, Chambers 5, Recker 4, (g)Neal 3, (g)Ebbeskotte 2, Taflinger 2, Hamier 0, Weisenborn 0.

Halftime - Hanover 36-31. 3-Point Goals - Hanover 12 (Hendricks 4, James 3, Bass 2, Wehner 2, Bingham 1), Bluffton 2 (Fisher 1, Neal 1). Rebounds - Hanover 30 (Gunter 7, Bingham 7), Bluffton 32 (Pope 8). Assists - Hanover 17 (Bass 6), Bluffton 20 (Ebbeskotte 6). Turnovers - Hanover 15, Bluffton 15. Total Fouls - Hanover 21, Bluffton 15. Free Throws - Hanover 15-18 (83%), Bluffton 12-22 (55%). Fouled Out - Bluffton: Neal. Next Game - Hanover visits Transylvania Wednesday.