NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Four players in double-figure scoring added to just nine turnovers and a solid 20-of-27 effort at the charity stripe were among the many factors guiding Manchester University Wednesday, Jan. 24.
Coach Josh Dzurick had another word to encapsulate a 69-62 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference win that kept them tied with Franklin College for sixth place.
“Overall, I thought our energy was there (all night),” he noted. “I feel like if we have that and don’t take plays off, this is the type of result that’s possible.
We had to play hard facing a team like Defiance that is so tall and physical,” he added. “They made us pay for our mistakes, but we kept forging ahead, taking our shots and executing when we needed to. I was proud of the way the entire team kept fighting.”
The Yellow Jackets, going into the night with a five-game series win string in tow, appeared in the same mode early, taking a 16-10 lead late in the first period. Enter a 13-3 roll, and the Spartans led 23-19 early in the second frame. From that point, Defiance held one more advantage late in the first half and tied their hosts in the beginning stages of the third quarter, but MU powered out to as much as a nine-point lead over the final 20 minutes to snap the head-to-head skid.
Sophomore guard Nicole Weaver (Fort Wayne, Ind.) tallied 16 points and six assists to lead the double-digit quartet, while fellow sophomore guard Haley Farris (Sharpsville, Ind.) added 15 points, five rebounds, four steals, and three assists. Freshman forward/center Hannah Smith (Upland, Ind.) just missed a double-double, registering 13 points and eight boards, and freshman guard Mikalia Taylor (Connersville, Ind.) wound up with 10 points.
Manchester University (5-13 overall, 4-7 HCAC) continues a two-game home set Saturday, Jan. 27. Mt. St. Joseph University comes to North Manchester for a 1 p.m. tip-off.