Pivotal clash with AU closes HCAC first half

Pivotal clash with AU closes HCAC first half

A test versus Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Anderson University Wednesday, Jan. 18, is next for Manchester University.

Game details: Tip-off time is 7:30 p.m. at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena on MU's campus … Live audio, statistics and video is available via a link at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … In recent series history, the two programs have split five of the last nine seasons including 2015-16 when they each won on their home floor.

Spartan Shorts: Monday's decision over the D3Hoops.com No-9 ranked North Park University Vikings of the Collegiate Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin was sparked by a late first half run and high octane offense from the Black and Gold. The two sides, who played right before the New Year's Day holiday in Chicago, Ill., with a nip-and-tuck win going to NPU by a 93-84 count, went back and forth early. A 7-0 run for the home side that began with just over three minutes left in the opening frame gave them a lead they wouldn't relinquish. The Spartans held as large as a 13-point advantage in the second 20 minutes before the visitors cut it to as little as five. However, Coach Gerad Good's squad held steady and managed to stave off North Park 89-77 … Manchester University, as has been the case throughout the campaign, had another balanced scoring effort. Senior guard Tyler Alexander (Indianapolis, Ind.) tallied 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the field and also grabbed 10 rebounds for his second double-double in a Manchester University uniform. Freshman guard Tyler Billups (Connersville, Ind.) turned in his second double-digit collegiate point total with 16, as 11 of them came in the second half. Fellow freshman guard Erik Bell (Evansville, Ind.) added 14 points and dished out five assists, while sophomore guard Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) finished with 10 points and five assists as well as a blocked shot and a steal … Alexander, behind a scoring average of nearly 25 points and a field goal accuracy rate of better than 66 percent over the course of the last six games, has seen his stock on the league's overall statistics be on a meteoric pace. Going into tonight, he's fifth in scoring (17.3 ppg), tied for fourth in field goal percentage (60.8) and, due to gathering more than eight boards per outing in the same period, has risen to sixth in rebounding (6.8 pg). He's not the only Spartans' player making waves, though. Bell is tied for fifth in assists (3.1 pg) due in large part to averaging over five a game in his last six appearances and Johnson's tied for third in steals (1.6 pg).

Second Half Starter: Earlham College comes to Stauffer-Wolfe Arena Saturday, Jan. 21. It's a women's and men's doubleheader with start times of 2 and 4 p.m.