ALBION, MICH. – A strong start Sunday, Dec. 29, helped aid Manchester University in a third victory in five tries against the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
The Spartans, moving to 6-4 on the season, bolted out to a 15-5 lead on Albion College and didn't allow the host Britons to reach double figures until 6:23 remained in the first half as part of their 42-40 decision. MU built the advantage to as much as 13 points (26-13) before Albion roared back in the second half and overtook their guests (37-36) with 3:11 remaining.
Three-point buckets from sophomore guard Katie Arterburn (Indianapolis, Ind.) and senior forward Erynn Meiklejohn (Fort Wayne, Ind.) turned back the home team's rally. Meiklejohn's trey broke up a 39-39 tie with seven seconds left to provide the winning margin. Albion (4-8) turned the ball over twice and went one-of-three from the field in the final 3:11.
Junior forward Abby Lang (Indianapolis, Ind.), joining Meiklejohn on the all-tournament team as the two Manchester University representatives, topped the Black and Gold in scoring (eight points) and rebounding (10 boards.). Meiklejohn, who provided the deciding bucket as part a five-point afternoon, added four blocked shots, two steals and two assists. Arterburn added seven points, while junior guard Jocelyn Hamilton (Columbus, Ind.) and junior forward Alyssa Smith (Bluffton, Ind.) dished out three assists apiece.
The Spartans return to Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action Saturday, Jan. 4. The College of Mt. St. Joseph of Ohio visits Stauffer-Wolfe Arena for a women's and men's doubleheader beginning at 1 and 3 p.m. The game against the Lions is part of a two-game home stand for the women's squad, as Franklin College follows MSJ for a single 7:30 p.m. game Wednesday, Jan. 8.
NOTES: MU wrapped up its 2013-14 regular season non-conference schedule against Albion. They finished 3-4, including a 3-2 mark versus the MIAA, against non-league opposition … Lang's 10 rebounds, her first career double-figure rebound game, spotlighted the second time this year a Black and Gold player has reached double digits on the glass. Sophomore center Stephanie Barmes (Greenwood, Ind.) also grabbed 10 against the University of Chicago in late November … Meiklejohn's four blocked shots were the most in a game for an MU player since former standout Kailey Honn tallied five against Bluffton University of Ohio in February of 2012.