ROCK ISLAND, Ill. -- Hanover lost to Hope 73-70 in the first round of the NCAA III national tournament. The Panthers and Flying Dutchmen tangled Friday, March 4, in Rock Island, Ill.

Junior forward Mike Case posted career highs with 34 points and 17 rebounds to pace Hanover (19-8). Sophomore guard Ryan Nowicki (Carmel, Ind.) tossed in 14 points and senior forward Mitchell Meyer closed his career with seven points and eight rebounds.

Will Bowser scored 20 points and Ty Tanis added 18 for Hope, which improved to 23-6 with the victory.

Hope held a 66-53 lead with five minutes remaining in the contest before Hanover rallied in the closing minutes.

Nowicki had five points and Case nailed three straight baskets to pull the Panthers within 69-66 with just 19 seconds left in the game.

Bowser hit 1-of-2 free throws with 11 seconds to play to nudge the Flying Dutchmen ahead 70-66.

Sophomore guard Drake Hendricks drew a foul and converted two free throws to shave the margin to 70-68 with seven seconds left.

Immediately fouled, Hope’s Colton Overway made a pair of free throws to give Hope a 72-68 advantage.

Case hit a jumper with two seconds left to keep Hanover’s hopes alive.

David Krombeen hit a free throw with two seconds left and freshman guard Grant Pangallo was off the mark on a three-pointer at the final horn.

Hanover shot 44.6 percent from the field (25-of-56) and was 17-of-23 from the charity stripe (73.9-percent).