TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Manchester men's basketball team concluded the 2018-19 basketball season at Rose-Hulman on Saturday afternoon. The Spartans dropped its season finale in a hard-fought battle to the Fightin' Engineers by a final score of 68-59.
The Spartans and Engineers battled closely in the first half of Saturday's contest. A jumper by Adrian Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind. / Fall Creek) from the left wing at the 11:57 mark tied the game at 12. Rose-Hulman answered with four straight points that forced a Manchester timeout. Later in the half, Cornell Hampton (Griffith, Ind. / Griffith) knocked down a corner triple that tied the game at 27. In the final minute of the opening period, Johnson scored a pair of baskets and gave the Spartans a 35-34 lead at the intermission. Johnson scored 16 of his team-high 27 points in the first 20 minutes.
The second half proved to be a grind for both teams as the Spartans and Engineers combined for just a total of 29 points over a 15-minute span. Manchester's defense forced several key Engineer turnovers and MU took a two-point lead following a fast-break layup by Adrian Johnson at the 11:41 mark. MU maintained its two-point advantage until the 6:00 mark when RHIT converted a three-point play to take a one-point lead.
The Spartans got within a basket with under two minutes to play, but the host Engineers scored eight straight points to extend their advantage.
Both teams made 24 field goals on Saturday afternoon. Rose-Hulman made 15-of-21 free throw attempts, while the Spartans converted 8-of-12 of its foul shot attempts. RHIT also made five three-pointers on Saturday to Manchester's three.
Playing in his final game for the Black and Gold, Adrian Johnson scored 27 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished out three assists. In a show of good sportsmanship, Johnson received a standing ovation from the Rose-Hulman crowd as he was subbed off with five seconds left in the game. Adrian finished as the school's fourth leading scorer, ending his career with 1,854 points.
Manchester ended the season with a record of 9-16, 6-12 HCAC. Rose-Hulman ended the regular season with marks of 17-8, 13-5 HCAC. The Fightin' Engineers will advance to next week's HCAC Tournament.