Big extra session lifts Spartans

Big extra session lifts Spartans

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – In a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference battle that saw Manchester University and Franklin College combine for 192 points several firsts went the way of the host Spartans Wednesday, Jan. 27.

The scoring total of 105 points in front of a loud and appreciative crowd at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena was the program's most since 2004-05 and the first 100-point-plus contest since 2009-10. MU's hard-fought 105-87 overtime win over FC also notched them their 10th win, the first double-figure victory campaign since 2011-12.

However, the host Black and Gold's move to a 10-8 overall and 7-4 league record to stay tied for third place standings-wise was anything but easy. The lead changed hands five times during the evening, and the Grizzlies (1-17 overall, 1-10 HCAC) held an advantage as late as the final 10:50 of regulation. However, even with a long three-pointer by FC guard Trae Washington in the closing seconds of regulation that forced overtime, MU answered by tallying 24 of the 30 points in overtime for a 105-87 victory.

Coach Gerad Good's squad produced a balanced attack with many heroes. Senior guard Brady Dolezal (Tipton, Ind.) compiled 23 points, 10 rebounds, a blocked shot and three steals, while junior guard Chase Casteel (Monrovia, Ind.) ended with 22 points and a pair of blocked shots to pace the individual efforts which included a key stretch of eight straight points tallied in the final 1:11 of the second half and to begin the overtime. Freshman guard Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.), registering his 11th straight double-digit scoring total, ended with 19 points and dished out seven assists; sophomore forward Enis Becirevic (Fort Wayne, Ind.) came off the bench for a glowing six-of-seven field goal effort as part of a 14-point night; and senior forward Matt Brown (Hobart, Ind.) concluded his night with 12 points.

The Black and Gold continue a key two-game conference home stand Saturday, Jan. 30. League-leading Mt. St. Joseph University is in town for a 3 p.m. tipoff.

NOTES: Dolezal's double-double was his first this season and third of his career … Casteel's first 20-point-plus effort of 2015-16 highlighted his fifth double-digit outing of the season … Becirevic continues to be consistent in high field goal percentages. He's recorded a 60 percent or higher finish 12 times in 18 games played … The win cinched the Spartans first season series sweep against the Grizzlies since 2010-11.