Hanover rallied from 13 points down in the second half to pull out a 73-70 win at Transylvania on Wednesday and earn a shot at the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season title.

The Panthers, now 17-7 overall and 14-3 in league play, will host 18th-ranked Rose-Hulman (21-3, 15-2 HCAC) on Saturday with the top seed in the league tournament at stake. Rose-Hulman was stunned by Earlham 68-66 on Wednesday.

With a Hanover victory, the squads would share the crown, but the Panthers would claim the top seed in the conference's post-season tournament based on tiebreakers, including Hanover's season sweep of Transylvania.

Transylvania (18-6, 13-4 HCAC) led by as many as 15 points (23-8) in the first period and held a 13-point advantage (44-31) in the opening five minutes of the second half.

Hanover used a 21-8 run over a seven-minute stretch in the middle of the second half to tie the game 52-52 with 8:29 to play.

Tim Bass scored eight points in the rally, including back-to-back 3-pointers, while Kyle James, Drake Hendricks and freshman Matt Wehner each hit from behind the arc to fuel the run.

The squads were tied five times down the stretch, with Transylvania eventually pulling ahead 68-62 with 1:43 on the clock.

However, Bass scored twice from inside and James added his third 3-pointer of the night to give the Panthers a 69-68 lead with 1:01 left.

Ethan Spurlin sank a pair of free throws to put the Pioneers ahead 70-69 with 50 seconds to play, but Brian Gunter answered with two from the foul stripe to give Hanover a 71-70 lead with 17 seconds left.

Transylvania missed a field-goal attempt with nine seconds to ply and Ryan Nowicki sank two free throws for the final margin.

Gunter swiped the ball in the closing seconds to prevent a final shot by the Pioneers.

Hanover shot 41.9 percent from the floor (26-of-62), but made 10 3-pointers, including seven in the second half.

Bass scored a game-high 25 points to lead Hanover. Gunter chalked up a double-double with 13 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, while James added 14 points off the bench.

Nowicki scored seven points to reach 1,202 for his career, making him the 24th player in school history to achieve the milestone.

Brandon Rash netted 22 points and Spurlin chipped in 17 for Transylvania.



at Lexington, Ky.


HANOVER (17-7, 14-3 HCAC) - (g)Bass 25, James 14, (f)Gunter 13, (g)Hendricks 9, (g)Nowicki 7, Wehner 3, (c)Marks 2, Steinhart 0, Bingham 0, Van Kleunen 0.

TRANSYLVANIA (18-6, 13-4 HCAC) - (f)Rash 22, (f)Spurlin 17, (g)Meyer 12, (g)Stansberry 8, (g)Cox 4, Botkin 4, Fudge 3, Beuttel 0, Morrison 0.

Halftime - Transylvania 35-26. 3-Point Goals - Hanover 10 (James 3, Bass 2, Hendricks 2, Gunter 1, Nowicki 1, Wehner 1), Transylvania 2 (Meyer 1, Fudge 1). Rebounds - Hanover 32 (Gunter 14), Transylvania 29 (Spurlin 8). Assists - Hanover 10 (Bass 5), Transylvania 9 (Cox 3, Botkin 3). Turnovers - Hanover 13, Transylvania 14. Total Fouls - Hanover 16, Transylvania 13. Free Throws - Hanover 11-15 (73%), Transylvania 16-18 (89%). Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Hanover hosts Rose-Hulman Saturday. Transylvania hosts Bluffton Saturday.