Spartans gain win in HCAC opener

HANOVER, IND. - A gritty effort from Manchester University helped key the Spartans' first win of 2012-13 in a big way Saturday, Dec. 1.

Coach Josh Dzurick's Spartans (1-4, 1-0 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference) used a 13-0 run from the 8:50 to 5:17 marks of the first half to gain a 28-20 advantage. The Black and Gold kept the lead at halftime (37-31) and then had a 17-7 run open the second stanza for a 54-38 lead with 15:05 to go. From there, MU had to withstand a furious rally from host Hanover (3-1, 0-1 HCAC). The Panthers, HCAC preseason favorites, trimmed the deficit to as little as two in the waning moments, but the visitors didn't allow their hosts to tie or take the lead en route to the 76-73 win.

"I'm extremely proud of how our team stuck together for this win," Dzurick said. "Everybody got involved and made a play at some point during the game. I wanted to see us match their intensity which is something I thought we did.

"We knew it would be tough down here," he added. "They're two-time defending conference champions, and they take a lot of pride in that. No lead was going to be safe, as it's a tough place to play. I figured they would come after us down the stretch which is just what they did."

Freshman guard Katie Arterburn (Indianapolis, Ind.) came off the bench to spark the Spartans' effort. She drilled five three-pointers and was also a perfect four-for-four from the charity stripe en route to a team-high 19-point total. The duo of sophomore forward Abby Lang (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior forward Erynn Meiklejohn (Fort Wayne, Ind.) also added some key numbers for the Black and Gold. Lang nearly tallied a double-double with 12 points and eight rebounds to go along a co-team-high four assists. Meiklejohn finished with 10 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots. Freshman guard Hannah Field (Fort Wayne, Ind.) also ended in double figures with 10 points and dished out four assists.

MU continues its current road swing with a trip to Terre Haute, Ind., Wednesday, Dec. 5, to take on Rose-Hulman. Tip-off inside Hulbert Arena on Rose-Hulman's campus is 7:30 p.m.

NOTES: Manchester University is now 7-1 in its last eight HCAC openers. … The victory ended a six-game Hanover win string in the series.