NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – A quintet of Manchester University players found themselves in double-figure scoring Saturday, Feb. 3.
Even with that and a 50 percent effort from the field, it wasn’t quite enough to pick up a home Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory over Transylvania University. The Pioneers rallied from a 12-point second half deficit and held off the large offensive attack of their hosts for an 85-84 triumph.
After a back and forth 39 minutes and 50 seconds, the outcome on the Stan Weller Court honoring Coaches Hoffman and Wolfe wasn’t out of question until the final buzzer. TU’s Michael Jefferson hit the second of a two-shot free throw try with five rolls around the rim and through the net with 5.9 seconds left, while a three-point try from junior guard Justin Lukens (Herrin, Ill.) was blocked in early flight by the Pioneers’ Kyle Gullett to preserve the final.
Junior guard Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) finished just an assist shy of a double-double with 20 points and nine dish offs, topping Coach Gerad Good’s double-digit dandies. Freshman forward/center Cornell Hampton (Griffith, Ind.) was next with 15 points; senior forward/center Enis Becirevic (Fort Wayne, Ind.) compiled 13 points and grabbed six boards; senior guard Brody Kirby (Frankfort, Ind.) wasn’t too far from double-double pace tallying 13 points and eight rebounds; and senior forward Kenny Doss, Jr., (Chicago, Ill.) continued to be strong off the bench with 10 points, four steals, two assists and four rebounds.
Despite a second defeat by a single point in the league’s second half, MU (5-16 overall, 3-11 HCAC) stayed three games behind sixth place with four to go. The Spartans wrap up the regular season set with rival Anderson University Wednesday, Feb. 7, at O.C. Lewis Gymnasium on AU’s campus. Tip-off time is 7:30 p.m.