Two-game road trip begins at Bluffton Wednesday

Two-game road trip begins at Bluffton Wednesday

Bluffton University of Ohio is next on the schedule for Manchester University Wednesday, Feb. 4.

Game specifics: The men's contest tips off at 7:30 p.m. inside the Sommer Center on BU's campus, while the women's programs meet for a similar start time at MU's Stauffer-Wolfe Arena … Live audio, stats and video are available for both games via links at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics.

Spartan Shorts: The Spartans (5-13 overall, 4-8 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference) continue to be within the loop postseason tournament landscape with six games to play. They're part of a tie for eighth with Franklin College that's just two games out of the top six … MU pieced together another sparkling offensive effort in their most recent outing, a hard-fought 87-84 overtime loss versus Transylvania University Jan. 31. The trio of junior forward Matt Brown (Hobart, Ind.) and sophomore guards Chase Casteel (Monrovia, Ind.) and Blake Brouwer (Elkhart, Ind.) resumed its remarkable recent roll and was joined by junior guard Brady Dolezal (Tipton, Ind.) in double figures. Brown tallied a game-high 22 points, while Casteel ended with 19 and proved tough inside the paint with seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Brouwer added 18 points, thanks to a scintillating four-of-five effort from outside the arc, to go with seven rebounds, and Dolezal closed with 12 points … Brown's double-figure scoring run stretched to 10 in a row, while Casteel's increased to eight last weekend. Brown, ranked fourth in the league in scoring (17.8 points per game), has peppered the streak with six 20-point-plus outings and eight games where he's hit multiple three-pointers. Casteel, whose average has sky-rocketed better than six points (3.4 – 9.6) in his skein, has totaled 20-points-or-more twice and hit multiple three-point buckets in seven successive contests over the span. The four individuals tallying double digits against TU marked the seventh time in the last eight games that MU has had three-or-more do so … The Spartans have strong residence on the current HCAC statistical top 10. Six of the team's category leaders are among the groups, as Brown is fourth in scoring and 10th in rebounding (5.1 pg); Brouwer is fourth in three-point field goal accuracy (45.5 pct.) and sixth in overall field goal conversion (54.6 pct.) as well as ranking eighth in blocked shots (.6 pg); and senior guard Caleb Jackson (New Castle, Ind.,) is sixth-best in assists (3.8 pg) … The series with BU has been nip-and-tuck since 2004-05, with MU holding a 13-9 advantage which includes a 77-58 Black and Gold win in North Manchester last month.

Weekend Road Trip: MU takes a southern journey Saturday, Feb. 7, for an HCAC doubleheader at Rose-Hulman.