NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – The visiting Hanover College Panthers withstood a torrid run from Manchester University in the first half and pulled away late to top the Spartans 88-69 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play on Saturday afternoon in Stauffer-Wolfe Arena.
Hanover opened the game with a 14-5 start but the Spartans used full-court pressure and energized bench play and went on a 28-5 run over 10 minutes of play in the first half to build a 13-point lead. The Spartans led 32-19 with just over five minutes to play in the opening period. The Panthers found their rhythm offensively and used a barrage of triples and free throws to steal a 39-36 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Panthers hit the Spartans with a series of runs, maintaining a double digit lead for much of the remainder of the contest.
Hanover shot 49.1 percent (27-55) from the field and outrebounded the Spartans 43-33. HC shot 28-of-37 from the free throw line.
Manchester shot 29-of-67 from the floor (42 percent). Hanover's defense held the Spartans to 4-of-18 shooting from downtown. MU was 7-of-11 (63.6 percent) from the free throw line.
Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind. / Fall Creek) scored 29 points on 13-of-24 shooting to lead Manchester. He added nine rebounds and five assists. Both Cortiz Buckner (Lafayette, Ind. / Lafayette Jefferson) and Jalmen Sullivan (Kankakee, Ill. / St. Anne) scored 11 points off the bench.
Hanover was led by Cam Fails' 30 points. Kevin Williams added 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Panthers.
The men's basketball team fell to 5-8, 2-4 HCAC. Hanover improved to 9-4, 4-2 HCAC. The Spartans will return to action on Wednesday January 9. MU will make a road trip to rival Anderson University. Tip against the Ravens is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.