NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Coach Gerad Good saw another balanced offensive attack from his Manchester University team fall just short of stopping a five-game skid Wednesday, Dec. 6.
MU and Thomas More forged leads early on before the visiting Saints of Thomas More College developed as large as a 10-point lead early in the second stanza by surging right before the break. The Black and Gold brought a crowd of nearly 200 inside Stauffer-Wolfe Arena to their feet with a rally that tied the contest at 39-39 with less than nine minutes to go. It was the Saints turn to answer with 10 in a row of their own and a 49-39 advantage, but back came Good’s resilient crew on a 13-3 roll over the final 5:32 of regulation. Junior guard David Stinson (Aurora, Ill.) created bedlam at SWA with a corner three-ball that nestled safely in the net for the 52-52 tie with just 13 seconds left. TMC had a chance to win it at the horn, but a jump shot fell off to force overtime.
The extra session saw the Saints open as large as a seven-point lead before holding on for a 61-57 decision. Thomas More, as they did at several critical junctures in the second half, took advantage of second-chance opportunities due to 10 offensive rebounds which included one that set up junior guard Ryne Callahan for a dagger trey in the closing moments of the extra session.
Despite the close-knit defeat, junior guard Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) reeled off his 13th straight double-figure scoring game with 18 points adding to in three assists to guide the Black and Gold (1-6). MU also received a pair of monster games inside the paint from senior forward/center Enis Becirevic (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and junior guard Justin Lukens (Herrin, Ill.). They both notched double-doubles, as Becirevic posted 10 points and 11 rebounds as well as a blocked shot, and Lukens turned in 12 points, ten rebounds, and four assists.
Manchester University steps back on the Stan Weller Court honoring Coaches Hoffman and Wolfe Saturday, Dec. 9. Earlham College visits as part of a Heartland College Athletic Conference doubleheader with the women’s teams. Tipoff time is 4 p.m.