Black and Gold set for home opener

Black and Gold set for home opener

Manchester University's 13-date home calendar gets underway Wednesday, Nov. 18.

The Spartans bring an 0-1 record into their Stauffer-Wolfe Arena opener after NCAA Division I foe Indiana University – Purdue University – Fort Wayne topped them 85-53 Nov. 16. The visiting Comets of Olivet College are out to an 0-2 start as they dropped a pair of games at the Trinity Christian Troll Classic last weekend.

Spartan Shorts:  Rebounding from a difficult first 20 minutes in which they shot just over 25 percent from the field, MU pieced together a strong second half at IPFW. Beginning a stretch of four games in eight days, Coach Gerad Good's 2015-16 squad battled the Mastadons tough early on, trailing by only eight points (21-13) midway through the opening frame inside Gates Sports Center. However, the hosts, still smarting from a narrow loss to in-state Division I rival Valparaiso University the weekend prior, limited their guests to only eight points down the stretch to increase the margin to 17 (38-21) at the break. Despite seeing the opposition continue to build the advantage at each turn in the second half, Good was pleased with a 32-point, 40 percent field goal shooting total the Black and Gold put together in the frame. "We did a better job of creating opportunities to get to the free throw line," he said. "We were also able to attack (IPFW) a little more despite the size disadvantage. It all comes down to us to being disciplined in what we do." … Freshman guard Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) impressed the MU fans in attendance, pouring in 15 points to go with four steals and a pair of assists. Senior forward Matt Brown (Hobart, Ind.) was also in double figures with 10 points. Other top numbers went to junior guard Blake Brouwer (Elkhart, Ind.) who ripped down eight rebounds and fellow junior guard Chase Casteel (Monrovia, Ind.) who ended with nine points, five rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot … The Black and Gold were tipped for a ninth-place finish in the annual HCAC coaches poll. MU compiled 29 points on the ranking and had the trio of Brown, Casteel and senior guard Brady Dolezal (Tipton, Ind.) mentioned in the Players to Watch section … The game starts a three-date home stand. Traditional National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics power Indiana University – Northwest comes to North Manchester Saturday, Nov. 21, for a 5 p.m. tipoff after the final day of the women's basketball 2015 Main View Tipoff Classic concludes, and MIAA member Calvin College makes a southern trip as part of a women's and men's doubleheader Tuesday, Nov. 24 ... Home openers have been positive for the Black and Gold in recent seasons. The program has won its last nine.

About Olivet: An upperclassman duo of senior forward Lee Gardner and junior guard Kevin Woodson led the Comets over the opening weekend of play. Gardner blistered the nets at a rate of better than 52 percent overall and 53 percent from outside the arc to go along with averages of 33.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, while Woodson turned in 11.5 points a game. Freshman guard Jermell Johnson was just off double figure scoring pace, posting nine points per contest.

The game versus the Spartans is part of a four-event road trip to begin the 2015-16 campaign for OC which was picked to finish eighth in the MIAA. After playing MU, they go to NCAA Division II Grand Valley State University of Michigan Saturday and then raise the curtain for their home season with a clash against Carthage College of Wisconsin Nov. 24.