Second half surge helps AU elude Black and Gold

Second half surge helps AU elude Black and Gold

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Hitting at a better than 51 percent rate from the field and resuming a season-long theme of balanced scoring were themes that led Manchester University in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action Wednesday, Feb. 11.

The host Spartans (5-17 overall, 4-11 HCAC) went toe-to-toe with the high-flying offense of league rival Anderson University (12-10 overall, 11-4 HCAC) throughout the opening half, forging a 41-41 halftime tie. After holding early 43-41 and 45-43 advantages to start the second half, a subtle 9-2 stretch for the Ravens helped give them an edge they wouldn't surrender. MU kept within arms-length of their guests, trailing by as few as six with less than 10 minutes to go, before AU added a 13-6 stretch that ballooned the lead to 13 in route to a 91-77 win.

Junior forward Matt Brown (Hobart, Ind.), resuming an impressive 2014-15 campaign, tallied a game-high 26 points to go with three assists. Junior guard Brady Dolezal (Tipton, Ind.) added 17, while sophomore guard Blake Brouwer (Elkhart, Ind.) tallied 15, and fellow sophomore guard Chase Casteel (Monrovia, Ind.) ended with 10. Casteel ended just a rebound shy of a double-double (nine boards), while freshman guard Brody Kirby (Frankfort, Ind.) turned in a strong 40 minutes, too, with nine points, six assists and a steal.

The Black and Gold resume a current three-game homestand Saturday, Feb. 14, as league-leading Mt. St. Joseph comes to North Manchester for a 3 p.m. tip-off.

NOTES: The four players winding up in double figures marked the fifth time in the last eight games they've had that number or more tallying 10-or-more points in the same contest … Brown registered his fourth 25-points-or-more total. His evening moved him over the 18 points-per-game mark for the first time this year … Casteel reached double digits for the 10th time in the last 11 games, while his nine boards marked the 12th time he's grabbed five-or-more.