Panthers outwork Yeomen to roll in opener

Buoyed by a 23-2 run late in the first half, Hanover College’s men’s basketball team tipped off its 2012-13 season with an 83-41 victory against Oberlin College (Ohio). The contest was played Saturday, Nov. 17, in Collier Arena.

Hanover guards Drake Hendricks (Muncie, Ind.), Kyle James (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Matt Wehner (Pendleton, Ind.) combined for 39 points to spark the Panthers, which captured the program’s fourth win in as many tries against Oberlin.

James, a sophomore, led the Panthers with 14 points in 16 minutes off Hanover’s bench. Wehner had 13 in a reserve role to mark his collegiate debut, while Hendricks, a senior, netted 12 points.

Junior guard Geoff Simpson scored a game-high 17 points and sophomore guard Austin Little added 11 points to lead Oberlin. Senior swingman Andre Fox chipped in nine points and a game-best 12 rebounds for the Yeomen (0-1).

Oberlin grabbed a 4-0 lead three minutes into the contest before Hanover used a 16-2 spurt to jump into a 16-6 lead at the 12-minute mark. James had five points and senior guard Ryan Nowicki (Westfield, Ind.) added four points to lead the early burst.

Simpson nailed a pair from long range and Fox scored four points to keep the Yeoman within nine (23-14) before the Panthers went on a decisive run in the final 7:35 of the first half.

Hanover outscored Oberlin 23-2 through the remainder of the period to build a 46-16 lead at the intermission. James started the explosion with a three-pointer and seven other players cracked the scoring column to help the Panthers construct the 30-point advantage at the break.

Hendricks hit a three-pointer and added a three-point play to nudge the margin to 38 points (54-16) in the opening two minutes of the second half.

Henricks, James and freshman guard Ethan Black (Evansville, Ind.) each scored from beyond the arc to eventually push Hanover’s lead to 46 points (67-21) with 13:42 left in the contest.

Simpson scored eight consecutive points during a six-minute span as Oberlin later whittled the margin to 36 points (75-39) with four minutes left in the contest.

Wehner hit two three-pointers to boost the Panthers’ lead to 40 points (81-41) in the closing minutes.

Hanover (1-0) outrebounded Oberlin by a 48-34 margin. The Panthers' defense forced 23 turnovers and limited the Yeomen to a 28.6 percent effort from the field (12-of-42).

Sophomore center Desmond Marks (Bloomington, Ind.) had a team-high eight rebounds and senior forward Brian Gunter (Louisville, Ky.) added seven boards to secure the paint.

Hanover vs. Oberlin (Ohio) statistics