ANDERSON, IND. – The first half of the 2015-16 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball campaign ended with a wild and woolly offensive affair at Anderson University's O.C. Lewis Gymnasium Wednesday, Jan. 20.
The visiting Spartans of Manchester University and the host Ravens combined for 176 points, 15 made three-point buckets, and 41 successful free throw attempts with a lions' share going to the home team in a 96-80 final. Coach Gerad Good's Black and Gold, despite dipping to 8-8 overall and 5-4 in the conference, proved resilient on the road.
AU (8-8 overall, 4-5 HCAC) opened the game quickly, tallying 21 of the first 27 points. They maintained a double-digit edge throughout the first 20 minutes, leading 51-35 at the break. MU answered the challenge, scoring 24 of the first 30 points in the second stanza to tie the contest at 59-59 with 13:02 to go. From that point, Anderson took off on another run with a 20-4 roll over the ensuing eight minutes that moved them towards the final.
Freshman guard Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) continued his remarkable first collegiate season. Pushing a personal double-digit scoring string to nine consecutive outings, he tallied 32 points, his second 30-points-plus total over the last five contests, hitting on 12 of 27 field goal attempts which included a two-of-three finish from outside the arc to go with a perfect six-of-six evening at the charity stripe. The upperclassman trio of senior guard Brady Dolezal (Tipton, Ind.), senior forward Matt Brown (Hobart, Ind.) and junior guard Blake Brouwer (Elkhart, Ind.) nearly joined him in double figures with each registering nine points.
MU opens the second half of the conference season on the road Saturday, Jan. 23. They face off against Earlham College in a 2 p.m. tipoff.
NOTES: Looking deeper into the final boxscore, junior guard Chase Casteel (Monrovia, Ind.) led the glass attack with seven boards and also dished out a team-high three assists. Brouwer and Dolezal each picked off two steals, and Brouwer blocked a Raven shot attempt … Going into the second round of loop play, the Spartans are among a three-way tie for fourth on the standings with Transylvania University and Rose-Hulman.