NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – The Manchester University men's basketball team extended its winning streak to four after topping visiting Earlham College 83-71 on Monday night in a hard-fought battle in Stauffer-Wolfe Arena. With Monday's win, the Spartans moved to 6-6 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
The quick Monday turnaround did not affect the Spartans in the game's opening minutes as Manchester University raced out to a 10-0 lead. MU never trailed in the contest. The Quakers did find their footing midway through the period, trimming Manchester's lead to five at the 11:41 mark. Over the next three minutes the Spartans responded with a 15-4 run that pushed their advantage to 29-13. Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind. / Fall Creek) capped the first half with a layup with eight seconds left on the clock that gave MU a 42-28 lead at the break. Johnson scored 15 of his 20 points in the first 20 minutes.
Earlham started the second half with back-to-back baskets before a Keiton Hall (Lansing, Mich. / Williamston) three-pointer pushed the Spartans' lead back up to 45-32. With just over eight minutes left to play, the visiting Quakers managed to trim the Spartans' lead down to six at 62-56. Manchester managed a 13-6 run over the next five minutes that push its lead back in to double digits. Jalmen Sullivan (Kankakee, Ill. / St. Anne) sealed the contest with a dunk in transition with 32 seconds left.
For the game Manchester University shot 28-of-51 (55 percent). The Spartans also connected on five threes. Manchester made 22-of-31 free throw attempts. Earlham shot 27-of-57 (47 percent) for the game. The Spartans defended the perimeter well as EC shot just 4-of-18 (22 percent) from three-point territory. MU also outrebounded the Quakers 37-24.
Adrian Johnson led Manchester with 20 points and six assists. Abdul Ogunnaike (Richton, Park, Ill. /Thornwood) finished with a double double off the bench with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Keiton Hall added 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting and Cortiz Buckner (Lafayette, Ind. / Lafayette Jefferson) finished with 11 points, five rebounds, and three assists.
Manchester is within a game of .500, improving to 9-10 overall with Monday's win. MU now sits at 6-6 in the HCAC with six conference games remaining. Earlham dropped to 6-13, 5-7 HCAC. Manchester's game at Franklin College has been postponed due to the severe freezing temperatures. A makeup date has not been announced. The Spartans will honor seniors and alumni on Saturday February 2 at 1 p.m. in Stauffer-Wolfe Arena.