Johnson Tabbed as HCAC Player of the Week

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Senior point guard Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind. / Fall Creek) was tabbed as the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week on Monday afternoon.

Last week, Johnson averaged 23 points, seven assists, and five rebounds over two games.

On Monday February 4, Johnson led the Spartans to an 83-71 victory over Earlham College. Adrian poured in 20 points, six assists, five rebounds, and three steals against the Quakers. Johnson followed Monday’s effort with 26 points, eight assists and five rebounds against Transylvania. Johnson hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 2.6 seconds left to give the Spartans a 73-71 lead, before a Pioneer buzzer-beater snapped MU’s four-game win streak.

Johnson has had a stellar senior campaign for the Spartans. Adrian leads the conference with 5.2 assists per game and ranks second in scoring with a career-best 19.9 points per game. He has scored 20 or more points nine times this season and in four consecutive games. Adrian also moved into fifth-place all-time in Manchester University history with 1,757 career points.

The Spartans are 4-1 over their last five games and will travel to Franklin tonight for a 7:30 p.m. tip with the Grizzlies

The Manchester University women’s basketball team upset Earlham College on Monday night in Stauffer-Wolfe Arena by a final score of 68-56. The Spartans ended a 15-game losing streak and earned their first win in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. The Spartans played with high energy and effort for the entire 40 minutes of action on Monday night en route to their first win since mid-November.

MU battled back from a 9-3 deficit and used a 14-7 run over five minutes of game time to steal a 17-16 at the end of the first quarter. The Spartans shot 6-of-12 and 2-of-5 in the opening period. The end of the first half was highlighted by Haley Farris’ (Sharpsville, Ind. / Tri-Central) hustle play. The Spartans missed a three-pointer but Farris picked the pocket of Earlham’s Kayla Bowling and laid the ball as the buzzer sounded. Farris gave the Spartans a 34-25 lead heading into halftime.

The Spartans continued to roll following the intermission, building a 16-point lead in the third period. Miranda Bieghler (Plainfield, Ind. / South Putnam) and Macy Miller(Huntertown, Ind. / Carroll) knocked down back-to-back triples midway through the third period that forced and Earlham timeout.

The Quakers got within 10 points midway through the fourth quarter but Manchester University immediately responded with a layup from Faith-Alexis Graham (Indianapolis, Ind. / North Central) and never trailed by less than 10 the remainder of the game.

Manchester shot 42 percent (22-of-52) for the game and made 6 three-pointer. The Spartans also made 18-of-27 free throws against the Quakers. The Spartan defense disrupted the Quakers on Monday night as MU held Earlham to 32.8 percent (20-61) shooting and just 26.3 (5-of-17) shooting from downtown. MU held Earlham to just nine points in the second quarter. Manchester also forced 21 turnovers.

Four Spartans finished in double figures. Freshman Bridget Nash (Carmel, Ind. / Bishop Chatard) matched her career-high with 15 points. Macy Miller scored 13 points and matched her career-high with eight rebounds. Both Haley Farris and Faith-Alexis Grahamadded 11 points in Monday’s win. Farris added seven rebounds and added a career-high six steals. Senior Beth Schaefer (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll) added eight points and five boards.

Manchester improved to 3-17, 1-12 HCAC while Earlham dropped to 8-13, 6-8 HCAC. The Spartans will look to win back-to-back games for the first time since mid-November when the team travels to face rival Anderson on Wednesday February 6 at 7:30 p.m.

The Franklin College Grizzlies shot a blistering 56 percent on Monday night en route to an 85-78 win over Manchester.

The Spartans were the aggressors early in Monday’s pivotal HCAC contest, building a six-point midway through the first half. However, the host Grizzlies used a13-4 run over about 90 seconds of action to wrestle the lead away from Manchester. Franklin held a slight 38-32 advantage at the break.

Coming out of halftime, both teams traded baskets on their opening possessions. Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind. / Fall Creek) made a layup with 16:11 remaining in the game that put the Spartans up 42-40. The Grizzlies answered right back with a three from Matt Krause on their ensuing possession.

Five straight points from Franklin’s Kale Morris pushed the Grizzlies’ lead to 60-50 with 9:48 left to play. The Spartans never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.

The Spartans managed to shot a decent percent on Monday night. MU knocked in 30-of-68 (44 percent) field goal attempts and made 4-of-8 three-pointers. The Spartans also knocked in 14-of-18 (78 percent) foul shot attempts. Franklin shot 33-of-59 (56 percent) from the floor and outrebounded MU 38-32.

Johnson led the way for Manchester with 19 points and five assists. Named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week earlier today, Johnson surpassed Rick Blastic (1972-76) as the fourth all-time leading scorer in Manchester history with 1,776 career points.

Nathan Carbaugh (Fort Wayne, Ind. / North Side) nearly posted a double double, finishing with 13 points and nine rebounds. Jalmen Sullivan (Kankakee, Ill. / St. Anne) also added 13 points of the bench.

Manchester fell to 9-12, 6-8 HCAC this season. The Griz improved to 8-13, 6-8 HCAC. The Spartans will look to bounce back at home on Wednesday February 6 against rival Anderson University in the regular season home finale. Tip from Stauffer-Wolfe Arena will be at 7:30 p.m.

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