NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Playing their final game before the holiday break, the Manchester University Spartans were edged by Bluffton University, 66-62, in women’s basketball action in Stauffer-Wolfe Arena on Saturday, Nov. 21.
The Spartans opened Saturday’s game with a 9-0 run. The Black & Gold’s hot start was highlighted by solid offensive execution on one end of the floor and stingy defense on the other end.
Macy Miller (Huntertown, Ind./Carroll) and Bailey Keim (Denver, Ind./North Miami) knocked in jumpers to begin the game for Manchester. Hannah Lindsey (Speedway, Ind./Speedway) scored Manchester’s next five points, capping the 9-0 run with a three-pointer at the 5:56 mark of the first period. Manchester shot 7-16 from the field in the opening 10 minutes, good enough for a 43.8% clip.
Defensively, Manchester held Bluffton to just 2-17 (11.8%) shooting from the field in the opening period. MU led the visiting Beavers, 18-8, at the end of the first quarter.
Foul trouble hurt the Spartans’ rotation in the second quarter and Bluffton erupted for 28 points on the strength of 68.8% (11-16) shooting from the field. Bluffton’s second quarter outburst was boosted by 10 points from forward Emma Saltzman and a trio of three-pointers from guard Sammy Shardo.
Manchester went cold in the second quarter, shooting 5-15 from the floor. Bluffton took a five-point lead at the half, 36-31.
The Beavers opened the third quarter with a 5-0 run to stretch their lead into double digits. Manchester remained close, as a Bailey Keim jump shot at the 3:43 mark of the period saw the Spartans trailing by just four points, 41-37.
Bluffton University again pushed its advantage into double digits in the fourth quarter; however, the Spartans remained just close enough to press the Beavers down the stretch. Bluffton took advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line, collecting 13 of its 17 fourth quarter points from the charity stripe. Manchester converted just 4 of 10 foul shot attempts in the final period.
For the game, Manchester finished 24-62 (38.7%) from the floor and 5-21 (23.8%) from three-point territory. Bluffton shot 19-58 (32.8%) and 6-18 (33.3%) from downtown. Manchester held a 45-40 edge on the glass on Saturday. Bluffton held a sizable edge at the free throw line, shooting 22-31 to Manchester’s 9-15. The Beavers also converted 20 Spartan turnovers into 19 points.
Hannah Lindsey led Manchester University with her first career double double. Lindsay scored a career-best 20 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds. Miranda Bieghler (Plainfield, Ind./South Putnam) scored a career-high 15 points on Saturday afternoon. Bieghler added seven rebounds. Bailey Keim finished with 14 points, three rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Macy Miller grabbed a career-best 11 rebounds.
Sammy Shardo led Bluffton with 18 points. Shardo made five three-pointers. Emma Saltzman finished with 14 points and six boards.
Manchester concludes the first portion of its 2020-21 schedule with a record of 0-5. Bluffton improved to 4-0 with the win.
The Spartans will return to action following the holiday break in January 2021.