NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Bolstered by a strong defensive effort and good results inside the paint, Manchester University earned its fourth win in its last five games, toppling Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Anderson University Wednesday, Feb. 12.
The Spartans, moving to 12-10 overall and 9-6 in the conference with a 54-39 victory, held the Ravens (2-20, 1-14) to less than 20 percent shooting from the floor and beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes. With AU not scoring in the final 9:48, MU built a 23-9 halftime lead. The visitors did answer back in the second half, cutting the deficit to as little as eight twice but could get no closer.
Senior forward Erynn Meiklejohn (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and sophomore center Stephanie Barmes (Greenwood, Ind.) provided an effective one-two punch. Meiklejohn scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds, and Barmes produced 13 points. Manchester University's guard play also contributed, as sophomore Justine Kruger (Francisville, Ind.) brought down a team-high seven rebounds; junior Alyssa Smith (Bluffton, Ind.) nabbed three steals to lead the category; and junior Jocelyn Hamilton (Columbus, Ind.) moved her multiple-assist streak to 22 successive games with four.
MU, moving just a game behind Franklin College for third place in the HCAC, takes to the road for the final time in the regular season Saturday, Feb. 15. They tip-off at the College of Mt. St. Joseph at 3 p.m.
NOTES: The Spartans have now claimed six in a row and 16 of the last 20 against Anderson University … Meiklejohn finished in double figures for the third time in the last four contests, a span in which she's averaged better than 12 points a game … Barmes' double-digit outing was her fifth of the year.