Franklin battles re-open HCAC schedule

Franklin battles re-open HCAC schedule

Manchester University moves back into the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference portion of its 2016-17 season Wednesday, Jan. 4.

Game details: Tip-off between MU and the Franklin men's squads is 7:30 p.m. at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena in North Manchester with the women's teams meeting for a similar start time at Franklin College's Spurlock Center … Live audio, statistics and video for both contests can be accessed via links at, the Internet home of MU athletics … Recent series history has seen Manchester University's men win eight of the last 13 including a sweep of the 2015-16 meetings, while Franklin College's women, with a pair of decisions a year ago, have claimed 11 of the last 14 from the Spartans but not without challenges along the way as seven of the last 12 have been decided by 10-points-or-less.

Spartan Shorts: Men - Coach Gerad Good's crew stands 1-9 overall and is looking for its first 2016-17 conference victory. They narrowly missed putting an end to a current patch of six straight defeats, taking top 15-ranked North Park University of Illinois to the wire in the Chicagoland area Dec. 30 before the Vikings held on for a 93-84 decision … Senior guard Tyler Alexander (Indianapolis, Ind.) registered the program's first 30-point-plus individual effort this season to lead the Black and Gold. He tallied 30 points on 13-of-18 field goal shooting, including draining a pair of three-point attempts, to go with three assists. He was one of four visiting players tallying double digits, as sophomore guard Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) added 15 points and dished off three assists; sophomore guard/forward Evan Romie (Anna, Ohio) scored 14 points and handed out four assists; and freshman guard Erik Bell (Evansville, Ind.) continued the underclassman guard positives with 12 points, a team-high five assists and a pair of steals … Despite the tough start to the campaign, the Spartans are making hay on the conference's statistical charts. Alexander is in the top 10 of two categories, sitting eighth in scoring (16.5 points per game) and fourth in field goal percentage (57.8), and is just outside the same area in rebounding, as his six boards per contest are 11th-highest. The guard duo of Romie and senior Blake Browuer (Elkhart, Ind.) stands three-four in three-point field goal percentage (47.6/46.2 pct., respectively); junior guard Kenny Doss (Chicago, Ill.) is tied for sixth in free throw accuracy (84 percent); and Johnson's 1.5 steals per contest are ranked fifth best to round out Manchester University players in the top 10.

Women – The Black and Gold (3-8 overall, 2-2 HCAC) takes a two-game league win streak on the road. Victories over Mt. St. Joseph Dec. 10 and Earlham Dec. 17 moved them into a logjam for fifth on the standings … Coach Josh Dzurick's squad had an overall three-game victory string snapped New Year's Eve with a 62-60 home loss to Rust College of Mississippi. MU saw junior forward/center Samantha Bolen (Greenwood, Ind.) tally 12 points for her fourth straight double-digit scoring contest, while senior guard Jenifer Lee (Rockville, Ind.) and sophomore center Maddy Minehart (Auburn, Ind.) wound up with 10 each. Minehart battled away against the strong visiting front line, as she also had a blocked shot and six rebounds, while junior forward/center Torrie Christlieb (Culver, Ind.) ended with a team-best nine boards … Sophomore guard/forward Beth Schaefer (Fort Wayne, Ind.) (T-No. 8 – rebounding – 6 pg); Lee (No. 6 – three-point field goal percentage – 35.1); freshman guard Nicole Weaver (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Bolen (No. 5 and 7 - free throw percentage – 84.4 and 82.4); and Christlieb (No. 7 – blocked shots – 1 pg) headline a strong Spartans' flavor on the conference's statistical top 10.

Weekend Doubleheader: Rose-Hulman pays a visit to the SWA for 2 (women) and 4 (men) p.m. tip-offs Saturday, Jan. 7.