NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Taking advantage of an impressive 50 percent team field goal percentage and using vise-like defensive pressure to turn over visiting Earlham College to the tune of 17 times over the final 20 minutes, Manchester University began the second half of 2016-17 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action on a positive note Saturday, Jan. 21.
Coach Gerad Good's team had to buck a pesky Quakers squad throughout the opening frame, trailing 13-2 less than six minutes in. However, on the final game of a grueling six-day, three-contest stretch, the Black and Gold dug down and reversed the deficit quickly with 13 successive points. The clash stayed close throughout the remainder of the half, as the Spartans led 31-27 at the break. Cranking up the defense out of the locker room, the home side, much to the delight of a crowd of nearly 500 fans inside Stauffer-Wolfe Arena, reeled off 10 straight points and didn't look back in route to a 67-53 decision.
Despite only having sophomore guard Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior forward/center Enis Becirevic (Fort Wayne, Ind.) end in scoring double figures, Manchester University, improving to 6-11 overall and 4-6 in the conference, did have 10 players show up in the points column. Johnson led the attack with a sparkling 15-point, five-assist, seven-steal late afternoon, while Becirevic came off the bench and gave the inside game a lift with 11 points, three rebounds, a blocked shot and two steals.
The Spartans take to the road for back-to-back league tilts Wednesday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Jan. 28. They tip off at Franklin College's Spurlock Center in the mid-week contest at 7:30 p.m. and are part of a doubleheader with the women's team at MSJ over the weekend that features 3 and 5 p.m. starts at the Harrington Center.