Butler holds off Hanover with second-half burst

Hanover College’s men’s basketball squad was outscored 31-15 during a 10-minute span in the second half and Butler University used the burst to defeat the Panthers, 97-73, in a regionally-televised contest, Tuesday, Nov. 27, in Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Senior guard Ryan Nowicki (Westfield, Ind.) and freshman forward Michael Van Kleunen (Mason, Ohio) scored 15 points apiece to lead Hanover, which dipped to 3-1 with the setback.

Senior guard Rotnei Clarke and junior forward Khyle Marshall led five Butler players in double figures with 19 points apiece. Senior center Andrew Smith added 13 points for the Bulldogs (4-2).

Marshall started the game with an alley-oop stuff off the opening tip and Butler sprinted to a 15-2 lead five minutes into the contest.

Van Kleunen canned a three-pointer, added a bucket from inside 90 seconds later and sophomore guard Tim Bass (Indianapolis, Ind.) followed with a runner in the lane to pull Hanover within 19-9 with 12:54 left in the half.

Butler pushed the margin to 17 points (41-24) with 2:47 to play before Hanover made a charge prior to the intermission.

Nowicki, senior forward Brian Gunter (Louisville, Ky.) and freshman guard Matt Wehner (Pendleton, Ind.) each nailed three-pointers as the Panthers used an 11-2 run during a two-minute stretch to creep within 43-35 in the final minute of the half.

Hanover trailed just 45-35 at the break.

Sophomore guard Kyle James (Indianapolis, Ind.) hit a long jumper to get the Panthers within nine points (47-38) just 17 seconds into the second half.

Butler, however, countered with a 26-7 run through the next eight minutes to build a 73-45 advantage with 11:49 left in the contest.

The Bulldogs extended the lead to 30 points (80-50) with 7:43 to go and held a 27-point advantage (89-62) with 4:11 left.

Hanover got within 19 points with an 8-0 run during a two-minute span. Freshman forward Quincy Robinson (Nashville, Ind.) scored his first collegiate basket, while James and Wehner added three-pointers to cut the deficit to 89-70 with 2:43 on the clock.

The Bulldogs, behind five points from reserve guard Devontae Morgan, outscored Hanover 8-3 down the stretch for the final margin.

Hanover shot 41.5 percent from the floor (27-of-65) and hit 12 three-pointers. The Panthers had 20 assists and committed just 11 turnovers in the contest.

Butler was 35-of-59 from the field (59.3%). The Bulldogs outscored Hanover in the paint, 48-28, but the Panthers’ bench, led by Van Kleunen’s season high, outscored Butler’s reserves, 42-24.

Hanover was outrebounded, 42-22, but the Panthers did collect 10 offense rebounds. Nowicki and James led the squad with four rebounds apiece.

Hanover at Butler statistics