DEFIANCE, Ohio – The Manchester University men's basketball team overcame a six-point halftime deficit to rally past the host Defiance College Yellow Jackets on Wednesday night. The Spartans earned their first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory of the season with a 76-70 win over DC.
Both teams got up and down the floor, trading baskets over the first five minutes of action. The Yellow Jackets' full-court pressure forced the Spartans into 11 turnovers in the early going, building a 12-point lead midway through the first half.
Manchester tightened up on both ends of the floor over the remaining 9:46 of the first half and trailed by just six, 33-27, at the intermission. In the first half, the Spartans shot 39.1% (9-23) from the floor and made four of nine three-point field goal attempts. Defiance posted a 46.7% (14-30) shooting clip in the opening period of play.
The Spartans used a 12-1 run over a two-and-a-half-minute span to tie the game at 40-40 with 16:11 left to play in the contest. The run was highlighted by four points from Matthew Westman (Michigan City, Ind. / Michigan City) and was capped by a three-pointer from Keiton Hall (Lansing, Mich. / Williamston).
Both teams went toe-to-toe for the next 10 minutes of the contest.
Trailing by four with 5:35 remaining in the game, MU scored 11 straight points to grab a 64-57 lead. Manchester would not trail the remainder of the game.
Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind. / Fall Creek) led the offense with 18 points. Johnson made 10 of 13 free throw attempts. He also added five rebounds and three assists. Matthew Westman finished with 13 points and five assists. Keiton Hall added 12 points on the strength of 4-7 shooting from beyond the three-point arc. Abdul Ogunnaike (Richton Park, Ill. / Thornwood) nearly posted a double-double, finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds.
For the game, the Spartans shot 50.0% (25-50) from the field and 50.0% (7-14) from downtown. Defiance cooled off in the second half and shot 41.3% (26-63) from the floor. The Yellow Jackets converted on just three of 14 three-point field goal attempts (21.4%). The Spartans outrebounded Defiance 36-30 in the contest.
The win on Wednesday night moved the Spartans to 2-4, 1-1 HCAC on the season. The Manchester University men's basketball team will hit the road again this weekend when the team travels to Earlham College on Saturday December 8. Tip-off against the Quakers is scheduled for 4 p.m. following the conclusion of the women's contest.