FORT WAYNE, IND. – At the end of 40 hard-fought minutes inside Indiana University – Purdue University – Fort Wayne's Gates Center, Manchester University head coach Brad Nadborne couldn't have been more pleased.
"I see nothing but positives (from this experience)," he said after the Spartans wrapped up pre-season exhibition competition with a 74-50 loss to NCAA Division I and Summit League favorite IPFW. "Our guys battled hard against a very good team. I like what I'm seeing (from this group) moving forward. They've really bought in to what we are trying to do."
MU, preparing for their 2014-15 season opener at Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association member Olivet College Wednesday, Nov. 19, gave the home-standing Mastadons all they could handle in the first 20 minutes, Behind the red-hot three-point shooting of junior forward Matt Brown (Hobart, Ind.) and senior guard Caleb Jackson (New Castle, Ind.), the Spartans held as large as a four-point lead (17-13) less than eight minutes in. However, IPFW utilized a strong pressure defense, speed and transition offense over the final 10 minutes of the opening frame and into the second stanza for a 45-12 surge that turned a three-point deficit at the 10:18 mark of the first half into a 30-point bulge in the second half.
Brown turned in 13 points and two steals, while fellow junior Jarod Schrock (Logansport, Ind.) topped the Black and Gold offensive chart with 14 points. Other top numbers for Manchester University came from junior guard Brad Dolezal (Tipton, Ind.) (seven rebounds, two assists and two steals); freshman guard Brody Kirby (Frankfort, Ind.) (two assists and a blocked shot); and junior forward Brock Armstrong (Logansport, Ind.) (two assists).
The Spartans' opener at Olivet College's Hathaway Court is set for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off Nov. 19. MU kicks off its home season inside Stauffer-Wolfe Arena Saturday, Nov. 22, against Wright St. – Lake.