The 2016-17 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference slate progresses along its first half round-robin Saturday, Dec. 10.
Game details: Manchester University welcomes Mt. St. Joseph University of Ohio to Stauffer-Wolfe Arena. Tip-off times are 1 p.m. for the women and 3 p.m. for the men … A special presentation by the North Manchester cheerleading mini-camp participants is set for halftime of the women's contest … Live audio, statistics and video can be accessed via a link at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … In recent series history, MU's women have won 18 of the last 21 meetings, while the two men's programs have split season results in seven of the last 12 years.
Spartan Shorts: Men – Senior guard Tyler Alexander's (Indianapolis, Ind.) recent roll has seen him rise up the conference statistical charts. With back-to-back 20-point-plus efforts against Hanover Dec. 3 and Defiance Dec. 7 in tow, he's just outside the top 10 in scoring (No. 11 – 16 points per game) and sixth in field goal percentage (54.5). His 1.5 steals per contest are also in the top 10 (No. 7). Alexander isn't the only Black and Gold player earning that statistical residence, as sophomore guard Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) is second in steals (1.8 per game), senior guard Chase Casteel (Monrovia, Ind.) sits tied for 10th in rebounding (5.7 pg), and freshman guard Erik Bell (Evansville, Ind.) is tied for 10th in three-point field goal accuracy (43.5 percent) … A two-game schedule this week began with a hard-fought 63-58 loss at Defiance Wednesday. Alexander's 25 points and nine rebounds led the team in each category, while Johnson and junior forward Kenny Doss (Chicago, Ill.) finished with 12 points each. The Spartans started fast, scoring 11 of the game's first 15 points and holding as large as an eight-point lead midway through the opening 20 minutes. However, an offensive dry spell of more than six minutes allowed DC to regroup and take a 20-16 advantage with 6:09 to go. From that point, it was a back-and-forth scene which was decided by a 6-0 Yellow Jackets run in the last 1:03.
Women – Sophomore center Maddy Minehart (Auburn, Ind.) tossed in a team-high 10 points to lead Manchester University in the final tilt of five straight road games Dec. 7 which saw Defiance College claim a 63-33 victory. She came off the bench to tally her third double-digit scoring effort of the campaign and continue a run of play in which her per-game scoring is up nearly double (4.5-8) over the last five outings. The sophomore also grabbed three rebounds and blocked an opponents' shot attempt in a third straight contest over 18 minutes. Junior forward/center Torrie Christlieb (Culver, Ind.) added a seven-point, five-rebound, one-blocked shot night … Minehart is one of four Black and Gold players owning top 10 spots on the current conference statistical charts. Her 51.2 percent field goal shooting accuracy is seventh-best. Junior forward/center Samantha Bolen (Greenwood, Ind.) is third in free throw percentage (87), and freshman guard Nicole Weaver (Fort Wayne, Ind.) is fifth (84.6) in the same category among players who have attempted 20-or-more, while Christlieb's one blocked shot per game average is 10th-highest. Weaver is also just outside the territory in three-point field goal accuracy (34.5 – No. 11).
On The Horizon: Manchester University takes a trip to Earlham College for conference play Saturday, Dec. 17. Game times versus the Quakers are 2 p.m. for the women and 4 p.m. for the men. Following that twinbill, MU's men return home for a Monday, Dec. 19, match-up with D3Hoops.com top-25 ranked North Park University which has a 7 p.m. tip-off, and the women break from competition until Tuesday, Dec. 27, when they go to Kalamazoo College of Michigan.