NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Returning to the hardwood for the first time in a week, the Manchester University men's basketball team used fresh legs and hot shooting to outlast visiting Defiance College 90-67.
Overcoming a slow start, the Spartans hit their stride offensively midway through the first half. Trailing 12-8, Manchester University used a 25-5 run over six minutes of game time to build a 16-point advantage at 33-17. The Spartans shot 57 percent (16-of-28) in the first half and were 4-of-7 (57 percent) from downtown. Keiton Hall (Lansing, Mich. / Williamston) knocked down three of his four three-pointers in the first 20 minutes. Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind. / Fall Creek) scored 12 of his game-high 23 points in the first half. The Spartans also limited the Yellow Jackets to just 24 percent shooting (8-of-33) en route to a 40-27 lead at the intermission.
Defiance hung around in the second half, chipping away at Manchester's sizable lead. The Spartans opened the second period with a flurry of baskets that gave MU a 49-31 lead. Defiance then outscored the Spartans 19-6 over the next six minutes to draw within 55-50.
Manchester promptly responded with an 11-2 run that pushed its lead back into double digits at 66-52 with 9:13 remaining in the ballgame.
The Spartans shot a high percentage on Wednesday night, finishing the game 32-of-57 (56 percent) from the floor. MU also shot a blistering 9-of-16 (56%) from downtown. Manchester University also took advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line, making 17-of-21 attempts. Adrian Johnson led the Spartans with 23 points, five rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Cornell Hampton (Griffith, Ind. / Griffith) posted another double double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Hampton also added five blocked shots. Keiton Hall scored 15 points and made four three-pointers in Wednesday's win. Matthew Westman (Michigan City, Ind. / Michigan City) also finished in double figures with 13 points.
The Spartans also outrebounded the Yellow Jackets 43-30 on Wednesday night.
Defiance ended Wednesday's contest 23-of-65 (35 percent) from the floor and 6-of-19 (32 percent) from three. Marrell Jordan finished with 23 points for the Yellow Jackets.
Manchester has now won back-to-back games and moved to 7-10, 4-6 HCAC this year. Defiance's struggles continued as the Yellow Jackets fell for the eighth consecutive game. DC is now 2-16, 0-11 HCAC this season. The men will be back in action this weekend on Saturday January 26 at Mount St. Joseph. Saturday's tip with the Lions is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.