NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Coach Gerad Good probably couldn't have asked for much more than he got out of his Manchester University team Wednesday, Feb. 15.
In need of a critical victory over visiting Defiance College who was tied with the Spartans and Bluffton University for the sixth and final league postseason tournament slot going into the night, he and more than 500 appreciative fans at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena got just that. MU, improving to 8-16 overall and 6-11 in the league, trailed 5-2 less than three minutes in but went on a 7-0 run from that point and didn't look back in route to an 82-63 victory.
The scorebook for the home team couldn't have been much more balanced. Senior guard Tyler Alexander (Indianapolis, Ind.) registered his fifth overall and third double-double in his last six games with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore guard Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored 16 points, dished out five assists and picked off two steals, and sophomore forward/center Evan Romie (Anna, Ohio) and freshman guard Erik Bell (Evansville, Ind.) finished up with 14 apiece. Romie also dished out five assists and turned in a team-high four steals, while Bell ended with seven assists to lead the way.
MU's shooting percentages played a big key. They hit nearly 60 percent from the field overall (59.2), while their three-point field goal accuracy was over 53 percent.
The final game of the 2016-17 regular season couldn't loom much larger for the Black and Gold. Preparing to honor six members of the Class of 2017 before a 3 p.m. tip-off at SWA, MU can earn their second successive postseason tourney bid with a win over the visiting Transylvania Pioneers or can also get into the field if defeated with a Bluffton loss to league-leading Hanover College.