Hanover used the experience gained from its game at Butler on Tuesday to dominate Manchester 99-48 at home Saturday in its Heartland Conference opener.

The 99 points were the most points the Panthers have scored since a 116-90 victory over Westminster (Penn.) during the 2006-07 season. Hanover had four players scoring in double figures, forced 26 turnovers and committed only 10 turnovers.  

"Whether you win them by one or more than one they all count the same," Hanover coach Jon Miller said. "It's the first conference game at home. I think if you have a design to be there at the end this is certainly one you like to get. One-and-oh is a good start. We got work to do obviously. Whether you're on the good side or bad side you got to pick yourself up and be ready to play that next one. We're happy where we're at, but hopefully keep getting better."

The Panthers (4-1, 1-0 HCAC) hit 14 3-pointers in the game. It was the fourth time this season they hit the double digit mark on threes.

"We are a team that guys can make shots. We want to get freed up to shoot the basketball. I felt we had some possessions where we are shooting a lot of threes but a lot of high percentage threes," Miller said. "They come off a lot of really good ball movement. Our inside guys pass really well from in and out. I think our guys are pretty unselfish. Our willing to pass up a good shot for even better shot. I think you do those things on one of those days, you end up making 14 threes."

Hanover jumped out to an early 15-2 lead thanks to early Manchester turnovers and hot shooting by the Panthers.

The Spartans (3-4, 0-1 HCAC) pulled to within 10 at 22-12 with 11:32 to go in the first half but the Panthers went on a 12-2 run over the three minutes to make it 34-14.

Hanover held a 53-26 halftime lead. Ryan Nowicki, a senior from Westfield, led all scores at the half with 19 points on 7-of-9 from the field that included 5-of-6 from behind the 3-point arc.

"We got into a rhythm there. A lot of times offensive basketball is about rhythm and we were able to get into one and sustain it most of the day," Miller said. "I feel most of the people will look at the game score and people at the game will talk about the offensive end of the floor. I was really pretty happy for the most part with how we played defensively. We got a team this year maybe unlike the past where we are trying to pressure people a little bit more. We try to force turnovers a little bit more without the dominant inside guys we had here over the past couple of years. I was happy overall on how we played defensively."

Hanover opened the second half with an 11-0 run and kept the defensive pressure up as they forced 13 more turnovers in the half and pushed the lead to as much as 55 points.

Nowicki had a game high 23 points on 7-of-10 from the field. He connected on five 3-pointers. Brian Gunter had a career high 17 points, Drake Hendricks added 10-points and freshman Michael Van Kleunen, fresh off his career-high 15 points against Butler, had 10 points and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor.

Tim Bass finished with eight points and eight assists from the point guard position.

"The last two times out, Tim has been great distributing the ball and he's doing a tremendous job. All of our guys taking care of the basketball," Miller said. "We got to be one of the nation's leaders in terms of fewest turnovers. That's why we've been able to get more shot attempts than the other team. Obviously Brian played like a senior today. Nowicki got it going. Overall it was a great Hanover team effort. Something as a coach you really want to see."

Hanover will host rival Franklin Wednesday at Collier Arena.



at Hanover


MANCHESTER  (3-4, 0-1 HCAC) - (f)Sims 10, (g)Flores 10, Dolezal 10, Schrock 6, Odle 4, Feitshans 3, Thompson 3, (f)House 2, (g)Newlin 0, (g)Jackson 0, Aguirre 0.

HANOVER (4-1, 1-0 HCAC) - (g)Nowicki 23, (f)Gunter 17, (g)Hendricks 10, Van Kleunen 10, (g)Bass 8, Black 6, Wehner 6, James 5, Robinson 5, (f)Marks 3, Steinhart 3, Bingham 2, Kring 1.

HALFTIME - Hanover 53-26. 3-Point Goals - Manchester 5 (Sims 2, Flores 1, Dolezal 1, Schrock 1), Hanover 14 (Nowicki 5, Hendricks 2, Bass 2, Wehner 2, Steinhart 1, James 1, Gunter 1). Rebounds - Manchester 37 (Aguirre 7), Hanover 38 (Gunter 6). Assists - Manchester 7 (Feitshans 2), Hanover 18 (Bass 8). Turnovers - Manchester 26, Hanover 10. Total Fouls - Manchester 15, Hanover 18. Free Throws - Manchester 7-16, Hanover 17-22. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Manchester hosts Rose-Hulman Wednesday. Hanover hosts Franklin Wednesday.