TERRE HAUTE, IND. – In a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference that went down to the final seconds, fans of Manchester University and Rose-Hulman were treated to balanced scoring from both sides Saturday, Feb. 7.
The visiting Spartans, dipping to 5-16 overall and 4-10 in league play, were led by the duo of junior forward Matt Brown (Hobart, Ind.) and sophomore guard Chase Casteel (Monrovia, Ind.), as Casteel knocked down 26 points, and Brown ended with 24. Senior guard Caleb Jackson (New Castle, Ind.) added 10 points to complete a trio of Black and Gold players ending in double digits. Meanwhile, on the home bench of Rose-Hulman Arena, the Fightin' Engineers (12-9, 8-6 HCAC) put six in double figures, giving them just enough to earn a hard-fought 81-78 win.
Brown and Casteel, showing off a knack for long-range shooting throughout the afternoon, combined to hit 12 of the squad's 13 treys. Casteel's final long ball, coupled with a free throw after an R-H foul with 28 seconds left, gave the visitors a 78-77 lead. However, the hosts responded with a lay-up and a pair of free throws, while MU was forced into a pair of turnovers on their last two possessions to decide the game. The Spartans had held as large as an 11-point advantage and didn't trail, being only tied twice, for almost 34 minutes until the Fightin' Engineers used a 12-0 run from the 9:54 to 6:27 marks of the second half to set up the frenetic finish.
Manchester University returns to Stauffer-Wolfe Arena to open a three-game homestand Wednesday, Feb. 11. Anderson University comes to North Manchester for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.
NOTES: Freshman guard Brody Kirby (Frankfort, Ind.) turned in a strong afternoon with seven points and a team-high six assists. Casteel joined junior guard Brady Dolezal (Tipton, Ind.) to share the team's rebounding lead (six) … The Spartans' 13 three-point buckets marked the fifth time this season and third time in the last five games they've hit 10-or-more … Casteel's total, his third 20-point-plus total of the season, moved him into season double-figure scoring at 10.3 points per game … Brown gathered his seventh 20-point-plus contest of the year.