NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Consider Wednesday, Feb. 14’s 85-81 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory over Bluffton University an A-plus start to “Finals Week.”
As the Spartans wound down the 2017-18 HCAC and overall campaigns in front of a Stauffer-Wolfe Arena crowd of 217, they gave their fans plenty to cheer about. Overcoming a pair of early three-point deficits, MU (6-18 overall, 4-13 HCAC) scored five of the first half’s final seven points to lead 43-39 at the break and extended that roll to 12-4 early in the second frame for a 50-41 advantage in route to the win.
“We were finally able to put 40 minutes together,” assistant coach Mason Wood noted. “Even when Bluffton made a run midway through the second half, the guys stayed together and worked through it. I’m proud of what they accomplished tonight.”
Senior guard Brody Kirby kicked off his final days in a Black and Gold uniform in high style, tallying 26 points which were keyed by an 11-of-11 effort at the free throw line and converting on three-of-four three-point attempts. He also shared the steals’ lead with fellow Class of 2018 member Kenny Doss, Jr., (Chicago, Ill.) (two). Justin Lukens (Herrin, Ill.) continued the senior theme with 16 points, five rebounds, and five assists, and junior guard Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) tallied 19 points and dished out six assists.
Manchester University honors its five-man senior class as part of its home and season finale Saturday, Feb. 17, against Rose-Hulman. Game time is 5 p.m. at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena.