CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Manchester men's basketball team won its third straight game on Saturday, defeating Mount St. Joseph by a final score of 73-57. The Spartans have won three consecutive Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference contests, keeping pace in the HCAC playoff race. MU currently sits in sixth-place in the league standings.
The Lions built a six-point lead midway through the half, but Manchester outscored their host 25-6 over the remainder of the period. The Spartans led 35-22 at the intermission. Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind. / Fall Creek) scored 14 of his game-high 24 points in the opening period. The Spartans shot 13-of-30 from the floor in the first 20 minutes compared to MSJ's cold-shooting of 7-of-23 (30.4 percent). Manchester University also forced nine Lion turnovers, while committing a season-low three turnovers.
Matthew Westman (Michigan City, Ind. / Michigan City) started the second half off on the right foot for the Spartans by knocking down a triple on the team's second possession. Westman's three gave the Spartans 16-point lead at 38-22. MU managed to maintain its double-digit lead for the remainder of the contest and built its largest lead of 20 at the 2:12 mark of the game.
In addition to Adrian Johnson's 24 points, Cornell Hampton (Griffith, Ind. / Griffith) finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. Matthew Westman also finished in double figures with 16 points. Abdul Ogunnaike (Richton Park, Ill. / Thornwood) grabbed a team-high nine rebounds off the bench.
The Spartans offense shot 28-of-58 in Saturday's contest, good for 48.1 percent. MU also came up clutch at the free throw line, making 13-of-17 attempts. The MU defense held the Lions to 17-of-43 (39 percent) shooting from the floor and 3-of-21 shooting from three-point territory. The Spartans also outrebounded MSJ 34-27 on Saturday.
Manchester improved to 8-10, 5-6 HCAC this season. Mount St. Joseph lost its fourth consecutive game, falling to 6-13, 4-8 HCAC. The Spartans will have a quick turnaround as MU will host Earlham College in Stauffer-Wolfe Arena on Monday January 28 at 7:30 p.m. The Spartans' upcoming contest was originally scheduled for January 19 but was postponed due to Winter Storm Harper.