NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Manchester University started the second half of its basketball season off on the right foot on Wednesday night, defeating visiting Franklin College by a final score of 96-86. Wednesday's win improved Manchester to 2-3 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
The Spartans used a full team effort to muscle past Franklin College. Senior Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind. / Fall Creek) led MU with 32 points and tied his career-high with 10 assists. He also added six steals and six rebounds. Johnson made 13 of 22 field goal attempts and finished a perfect 5-5 from the foul line. Cornell Hampton (Griffith, Ind. / Griffith) nearly posted a double double, scoring a career-high 25 points while grabbing a season-high nine rebounds in Wednesday's win. Sophomore Matthew Westman (Michigan City, Ind. / Michigan City) added 12 points and Cortiz Buckner (Lafayette, Ind. / Lafayette Jefferson) finished with 11 points. Freshman Nathan Carbaugh (Fort Wayne, Ind. / North Side) recorded a career-high five blocks to help Manchester University power past the visiting Grizzlies.
Fast play dictated Wednesday night's contest as both teams pushed the tempo the entire 40 minutes. Manchester shot 55.9% (19-34) in the opening half and forced 15 first half turnovers en route a 50-37 lead at the intermission. Adrian Johnson and Cornell Hampton combined for 33 of Manchester's 50 points at the break For the game, the Spartans shot a blistering 56.3% (36-64) from the field. MU shot a healthy 45.5% (5-11) from three-point territory and finished the contest 19-24 from the free throw line, good enough for a 79.2% clip. The Spartans scored 20 points in transition.
The Spartans' full-court pressure forced Franklin into 20 turnovers which led to 29 points on Wednesday night. MU's defense held the Grizzles to 39.1% (27-69) shooting from the floor and FC was just 5-22 (22.7%) from beyond the three-point arc. Franklin shot 27-32 (84.4%) from the foul line and outrebounded Manchester 43-30.
Manchester moved to 5-7 overall and improved to 2-3 in league play. The Spartans have now won three of their past five contests. Franklin dropped to 4-8 this season and 2-3 in HCAC play. The Spartans will gear up for a tough test on Saturday January 5 when the team hosts Hanover College. The Panthers have won the HCAC Conference regular season and tournament titles the past two seasons. Saturday's tip against HC is scheduled for 1 p.m. before the women's contest.