BLUFFTON, OHIO – A guard trio of seniors Chase Casteel (Monrovia, Ind.) and Tyler Alexander (Indianapolis, Ind.) and sophomore Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) paid big dividends for Manchester University Wednesday, Jan. 11.
Alexander and Johnson each finished in the 20-or-more points range with Alexander ending with 21 to go with eight rebounds, and Johnson collecting 20 and two steals. Casteel, coming off a career eight three-point, 24-point compilation in a weekend win over Rose-Hulman Jan. 7, wound up with 11 points.
While the balanced scoring attack between the three was impressive, three points from Alexander in the final three seconds proved to be the difference in a cliffhanger 67-65 road win at BU's Sommer Center. Trailing the Beavers 65-63 with 15 seconds remaining, Alexander took a pass from sophomore forward/guard Evan Romie (Anna, Ohio), hit a lay-up and was fouled with three ticks remaining. Alexander calmly went to the charity stripe and drilled the free throw for a 66-65 Spartans' advantage. Romie cinched the decision with a steal and one-of-two free throw effort with only one second left.
Coach Gerad Good's final moment heroics turned away a gutty 7-0 run by the home team that eliminated a five-point Black and Gold cushion with 2:53 left. MU held as large as an 11-point lead during the evening, but Bluffton managed to reel them back in and keep it close over the 40 minutes.
Manchester University (4-9 overall, 3-4 HCAC), climbing into a tie for fifth on the standings, takes its win streak to Transylvania University of Kentucky Saturday, Jan. 14. They face off against the Pioneers as part of a doubleheader with the women's team that features 1 and 3 p.m. starts.