KALAMAZOO, MICH. – Manchester University nearly battled all the way back from a 14-point second half deficit before a late run by the hosts decided the outcome of their season opener Friday, Nov. 18.
Trailing 64-50 with 7:38 left inside the Anderson Athletic Center on KC's campus, Coach Gerad Good's squad surged. Senior guard Chase Casteel (Monrovia, Ind.) canned three free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt; freshman guard Erik Bell (Evansville, Ind.) drained a triple; and senior guard Tyler Alexander (Indianapolis, Ind.) got the basket for a pair of lay-ins to cut the Hornets' lead to 64-60. Even in the wake of the home hitting a trey of its own to stop the 10-0 Black and Gold run, MU continued to claw closer as Alexander added a pair of baskets and junior forward/center Enis Becirevic (Fort Wayne, Ind.) dropped in two points to make it 68-66 with 2:51 left.
However, the home side had one more run in it and used it to the tune of 8-1 to salt away the 76-67 victory. Sophomore guard Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) led the visitors with 18 points to go with five rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Alexander, in his first game in a Spartans' uniform, ended with 17 to go with two steals, three assists and a blocked shot.
Manchester University's run against the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association resumes Saturday, Nov. 19. They travel to Adrian College for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off against the Bulldogs.
NOTES: Johnson's team point-high marked the 11th time he's topped the squad in scoring in his brief collegiate career … The defeat marked MU's fourth straight in season openers.