CINCINNATI, OHIO – Manchester University resumed its late season surge Saturday, Feb. 15, taking advantage of a strong rebounding advantage to fuel a 58-49 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference win at the College of Mt. St. Joseph.
The Spartans, improving to 13-10 overall and 10-6 in the HCAC with their fourth consecutive and fifth victory in the last six games, out-boarded the host Lions (2-21, 2-14 HCAC) 53-29. Junior guard Alyssa Smith (Bluffton, Ind.), as part of a sparkling effort, grabbed 17 of those caroms to lead the way and add to her nine-point, five-assist contest.
Manchester University scored eight of the first 10 points en route to a 10-point (32-22) halftime edge. They continued to build the margin to as much as 15 in the second 20 minutes, as they didn't trail the entire afternoon to gain their ninth successive and 16th win in the last 17 meetings against MSJ.
MU's scoring attack was led by senior forward Erynn Meiklejohn (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and sophomore guard Justine Kruger (Francisville, Ind.). Meiklejohn tallied 13 points, and Kruger added 10 for the visitors' two double-figure outputs. Kruger wasn't far off double-double territory with eight rebounds included in her totals.
The Black and Gold return home to Stauffer-Wolfe Arena to wrap up the 2013-14 regular season next week. A two-game home set begins Wednesday, Feb. 19, against Defiance College of Ohio with a 7:30 p.m. start.
NOTES: MU remained fourth on the league standings with the victory. They continue to lead Bluffton University of Ohio by one game for the spot and trail Franklin College by a similar amount for third place … Smith's 17 rebounds were the most in a game for the Spartans since former standout Erica Sewell ended with 20 against Bluffton in February of 2005, while the team's 53 boards were the first 50-plus total since November of 2009 and the most since the 2004-05 squad registered 54 against Davenport University in November of 2005 … Meiklejohn continued a strong recent run of play with her third consecutive and fourth double-digit scoring effort in the last five games … Junior guard Jocelyn Hamilton (Columbus, Ind.) recorded her 23rd straight multiple-assist game, tying Smith for the squad lead (five).