High-scoring league battle eludes Spartans

High-scoring league battle eludes Spartans

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Looking to close out the first half of the 2016-17 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference campaign continuing its rise of winning four of its previous five contests, Manchester University couldn't hold off visiting Anderson University Wednesday, Jan. 18.

The Ravens, keeping pace with Hanover College at the top of the loop standings at 8-1, rallied from a three-point deficit at several stages over the final 20 minutes inside a loud Stauffer-Wolfe Arena. The most critical span came from the 7:31-3:32 mark, as the visitors went on a 15-4 stretch and didn't look back in route to a 99-87 decision.

MU, dipping to 5-11 overall and 3-6 in the league which ties them for sixth with Defiance College going into the second half of the conference slate, received big contributions from the guard trio of senior Tyler Alexander (Indianapolis, Ind.), sophomore Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) and freshman guard Erik Bell (Evansville, Ind.). Alexander, resuming a white hot span in his last seven appearances, scored 26 points on 10-of-14 field goal shooting, while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out three assists. Bell was just as tough on the opposing defense with a 10-of-13 effort from the field of which three came from beyond the arc for a personal single-game career high 25 points that went along with two assists. Johnson tallied 15 while digging up three steals and dishing out three assists.

The Spartans start off the final nine games of the conference campaign at home Saturday, Jan. 21. Earlham College comes to town for a 4 p.m. tip-off.

NOTES: Alexander has seen his season scoring average rush to its current 17.8 points per game after sitting at 15 per contest after a winter break non-conference game at Bethel College. In the last seven games, he's averaging 21.4 points due to hitting at a meteoric 67.3 percent clip … Bell's season scoring average is up nearly two full points over the last three games (7.2-9.1), as he's compiled a 17.3 points per outing average in the span.