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Late stretch run sends Black and Gold to key HCAC win

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University kept its recent run of strong play going Saturday, Feb. 1, gaining a 70-66 victory over Transylvania University.

The Spartans, improving to 5-14 overall and 4-8 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, won for the third time in their last four games and claimed their seventh win over the Pioneers (7-12, 5-7 HCAC) in the last 12 series' contests. MU had to be resilient, as Transylvania opened as large as a seven-point lead twice in the opening frame and held a four-point lead in the final five minutes.

"We talked all week about carrying wins forward and learning from losses," Coach Brad Nadborne said. "Wednesday night against Franklin, we did respond early in the second half after they had taken a late first half lead on us. Today, we did, going on a 10-0 run to open.

"Defense was also a big part of today," he added. "We held three of their bigger scorers down. The guys really battled hard down the stretch and showed a lot of poise."

The Black and Gold's final push towards the "W" started with 4:39 left. Sophomore forward Jarod Schrock (Logansport, Ind.), who led the scoring chart with 17 points, hit a lay-up to kick-off a quick five-point run for a 68-64 lead. Transylvania whittled the deficit back down to two (68-66) before going zero-for-four from the field and, with junior forward Jon Thompson (Rushville, Ind.) converting two free throws with 10 seconds left, Manchester University closed out the game.

Thompson, sophomore guard Brady Dolezal (Tipton, Ind.) and freshman guard Blake Brouwer (Elkhart, Ind.) also earned double-digit totals. Thompson ended with 15, while Dolezal, registering his seventh straight double-digit game, scored 14. Brouwer wound up with 13. The trio also led the way in other statistical categories, as Thompson snared nine rebounds, Dolezal picked up three steals, and Brouwer dished out three assists.

MU continues a five-game homestand Wednesday, Feb. 5. Bluffton University of Ohio comes to Stauffer-Wolfe Arena for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

NOTES: The Spartans continue to climb their way into the league's postseason tournament picture. They stand just one game behind Transylvania for the sixth spot and only two games behind Franklin College for the top five … Schrock's work didn't stop with his 17 points. He also blocked two Pioneer shot attempts and grabbed four rebounds. It was fifth multiple-block outing of the season.