Spartans take aim at HCAC tourney slot

Spartans take aim at HCAC tourney slot

A visit to Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky., puts a wrap on Manchester University's 2015-16 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference campaign.

Game details: Tipoff time is 3 p.m. inside TU's Beck Center … Live audio, statistics and video are available via a link at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics.

Spartan Shorts: It's a crucial match-up between the Spartans (12-12 overall, 9-8 HCAC) and host Pioneers (10-14 overall, 9-8 HCAC). The winner is assured a berth in the postseason league tourney, set for next week. Looking further into the playoff scenarios, MU could also get in if they drop the regular season finale with an Anderson University loss to Franklin College … With a 78-74 Pioneers' victory at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena in mid-January included, the series history over the last 14 contests is tied … Coach Gerad Good's squad got the final span of conference play off to a rousing start, knocking off tri-HCAC leader Defiance 79-60 on the road Feb. 17. Senior forward Matt Brown (Hobart, Ind.) helped lead the way, rattling off his second 30-points-plus collegiate effort with a game-high 34 on a blistering 10-of-13 pace from the field, good for 76.9 percent, while hitting four-of-five three-point attempts and going 10-of-11 from the free throw line. The senior wasn't the only MU player etching his name in double digits, though, as sophomore guard Brody Kirby (Frankfort, Ind.) ended with 13, and freshman forward/center Evan Romie (Anna, Ohio) added 12 points and a pair of steals and assists … Shining a spotlight brighter on individual accolades at DC, Brown's point total marked a single-game individual program best for 2015-16. It was the program's fourth 30-points-plus effort this year, as freshman guard Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) had the other three, and Romie continued to impress down the stretch, reeling off his second double-digit point total in the last three outings as part of a stretch in which the freshman's grabbed a combined seven rebounds and hit 50 percent or better overall and from beyond the arc at each opportunity … Going into the weekend, the Spartans have four categories ranked within the loop's statistical top five. Johnson tops the steals charts (1.9 pg) and is third in scoring (18.3 pg); Brown, behind his big mid-week numbers, moved back into first in three-point field goal accuracy (53.1), while sophomore forward/center Enis Becirevic (Fort Wayne, Ind.) also holds a top spot view, as his 63.6 percent field goal conversion rate bests the field by nearly four full percentage points. Becirevic's glittering field goal accuracy is one of the main reasons the Spartans are ranked No. 12 nationally in the category, sporting a 49.6 percent team mark.

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