NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Numbers and plenty of them were in plentiful supply at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena Wednesday, Jan. 31.
Manchester University and Franklin College combined for 194 that kept the scoreboard above Stan Weller Court honoring Coaches Hoffman and Wolfe busy. Consider these other numbers in a 98-96 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference win for the host Black and Gold – 76 made field goals, 16 made three-pointers, 26 converted free throw attempts, 43 assists, and 12 steals. Both sides made the 94 feet often disappear to the tune of hitting over 53 percent for the Grizzlies and a white-hot 61.9 percent clip for the Spartans.
Even as he thought through those figures, Coach Gerad Good was happy about just one, a victory that enabled MU to move to 5-15 overall and 3-10 in the conference, only two games behind FC and Anderson University for the sixth spot on the standings.
“We’ve had a lot more energy (of late),” he noted. “I think one of the more prominent pluses has been getting (senior forward) Kenny (Doss, Jr.) back into the mix after he was a little hobbled by injuries.
I wasn’t expecting that many points, but I think our guys are feeling more comfortable and feeding off the play of each other,” he added.
MU needed every bit of their most significant point output since November of 2016-17. They managed to get the lead out to as much as 12 in front of an appreciative crowd of better than 200 fans, but, in each case, the Grizzlies answered despite not being able to overtake their hosts down the stretch after leading only twice early on. Franklin did have a three-point look in the final 30 seconds to tie, but it rimmed out.
Individual stars were many for the Spartans in route to their third win in the last four contests. Junior guard Justin Lukens (Herrin, Ill.) tallied 18 points and five assists; senior forward/center Enis Becirevic (Fort Wayne, Ind.) missed just one shot, going eight of nine from the field as part of a 16-point night; Doss, Jr., came off the bench for a 15-point total; and junior guard Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) finished with 14 to go with nine assists.
Manchester University closes a three-game homestand Saturday, Feb. 3. They welcome Transylvania University to SWA for a 3 p.m. start as part of a doubleheader with the Spartans’ women’s team.