Spartans Split With Anderson

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Fueled by a pair of double-figure scoring games from junior forward Erynn Meiklejohn (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and sophomore forward Abby Lang (Indianapolis, Ind.), Manchester University wrapped up a season series sweep of Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Anderson University with a 51-40 victory Wednesday, Feb. 13.

Meiklejohn poured in her third 20-point-plus total of the season with 20 points on eight-of-11 field goal shooting, while Lang finished with 11 points. The duo was also tough on the glass with Lang grabbing five boards and Meiklejohn taking four as part of a 33-30 edge on the glass for the Spartans (9-15 overall, 8-9 HCAC).

MU got out to a fast start, scoring the game’s first 12 points and building their advantage to 24-7 at halftime. Coach Josh Dzurick had been seeking a strong defensive effort and received one in the first 20 minutes, as the Black and Gold limited the Ravens (7-17, 6-11) to 13 percent field goal shooting.

“I was glad to see us get out to a good beginning on both ends,” Dzurick said. “We needed something like this tonight in a big-game situation. Anderson did struggle to make their shots in the first half, but our defense contributed to that by being aggressive.”

Anderson opened the second frame much as MU did the first. A 23-11 stretch over the first 15 minutes brought the visitors to within 35-30. However, the Spartans answered right back with a 14-3 run of their own to ice the decision.

“We went back to being aggressive offensively and defensively towards the end of the game,” Dzurick said. “I was glad to see our team respond that way after (Anderson) pinned us in a corner by hitting shots and playing their tempo to open the second half.”

Other top numbers on the box score for Manchester University belonged to sophomore guard Jocelyn Hamilton (Columbus, Ind.) with six assists; sophomore guard Caitlyn Ailor (Ossian, Ind.) with four steals; and sophomore forward Alyssa Hammond (Ossian, Ind.) and freshman guard Justine Kruger (Francisville, Ind.) with five rebounds each to join Lang for the team lead.

MU wraps up the 2012-13 regular season with a home game against Earlham College Saturday, Feb. 16. Tipoff is 1 p.m. at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena.

NOTES: Hamilton’s team-high six assists marked the eighth time in the last nine games she’s dished out multiples in a game. … Lang’s double-digit finish was her fifth of the season. … Hammond has registered four-or-more rebounds in eight straight games.

MEN

ANDERSON, IND – A furious late-game rally nearly guided Manchester University to a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference road win Wednesday, Feb. 13.

The Spartans, trailing league rival Anderson by as much as 17 in the second half, whittled the deficit to as little as three in the waning moments but couldn’t overtake their hosts in an 86-81 loss. Coach Brad Nadborne’s squad (4-20 overall, 1-16 HCAC) had another impressive shooting night hitting better than 48 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and canning 25-of-33 free throw attempts.

Senior forward David House (Elkhart, Ind.) and sophomore forward Jon Thompson (Rushville, Ind.) proved an effective one-two punch throughout the night. House recorded his fourth double-double of the year with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Thompson provided a strong stroke from the perimeter with a team-high 23 points thanks in large part to four three-point baskets.

MU and AU traded leads early before the Ravens used a 12-2 stretch midway through the first half to kick-start their lead. The hosts stretched the advantage to 54-37 with just over 18 minutes to go, but the Spartans answered with a 23-9 roll of their own to set up the finish.

The Black and Gold bring the curtain down on the 2012-13 season Saturday, Feb. 16. Earlham College visits Stauffer-Wolfe Arena for a 3 p.m. tipoff.

NOTES: Thompson’s 20-point-plus game was his third-such of the season. …  House tallied 20-or-more points for the second time. It was the fourth time this year he’s registered double-digit rebounds. … Other statistical category leaders for Manchester University were sophomore guard Grant Newlin (Muncie, Ind.) with four assists; freshman forward Brady Dolezal (Tipton, Ind.) with two blocked shots; and sophomore forward Silas Sims (Hope, Ind.) with three steals.

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