ANDERSON, IND. – Manchester University kept pace with a tight-knit pack on the upper half of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 68-65 victory at rival Anderson Wednesday, Jan. 2.
Both sides had strong streaks during the course of the evening. MU, moving to 5-7 overall and 4-1 in league play, saw the host Ravens (3-9, 2-3 HCAC) jump out to a 9-1 lead five minutes in. However, the Black and Gold managed to whittle away and overtook Anderson after junior forward Erynn Meiklejohn (Fort Wayne, Ind.) hit a bucket with 5:43 left that made it 21-19 to complete a 20-10 run. Both teams held the lead in the late stages of the first stanza, and the game continued to be close early in the second frame.
The Spartans, behind a 9-2 run midway through the final half, opened up a nine-point lead. From that point, Anderson was the one rallying and eventually tying the contest at 58-58 with 6:34 left. Coach Josh Dzurick's squad answered with eight straight points and didn't trail or was tied the remainder of the game. Anderson did get a three-point look on its final possession, but it fell off.
Manchester University placed four players in double figures. Sophomore forward Abby Lang (Indianapolis, Ind.) had a strong game in the paint with 10 points and six rebounds, while junior guard Janelle Moss (Columbia City, Ind.) hit six-of-11 field goal attempts as part of a 13-point night among the starters. Coach Josh Dzurick's squad also had strong efforts from the bench led by freshman guard Katie Arterburn (Indianapolis, Ind.) with 12 points, four rebounds and a pair of steals, while sophomore center Alyssa Hammond (Osgood, Ind.) contributed 10 points, four rebounds and a blocked shot, and freshman guard Hannah Field (Fort Wayne, Ind.) dished out 11 assists.
The Spartans resume their conference slate with a 1 p.m. tip-off at Earlham College's Trueblood Fieldhouse at the Athletics and Wellness Center Saturday, Jan. 5. Dzurick's team, tied for second with Transylvania, enters the weekend trailing league unbeaten Defiance by one game.
NOTES: Fields' 11 assists were the fifth-most in a game in program history and the first double-digit performance since 1994-95. … Lang's six rebounds marked the eighth time this season she has recorded four-or-more in a game, while Arterburn registered a multiple-steal outing for the eighth time, too.