ANGOLA, IND. - Manchester University tallied the game's final five points, keeping host Trine University off the scoreboard for the final 3:15, but it wasn't quite enough in a 60-59 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference - Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association defeat Wednesday, Dec. 30.
MU (3-7 overall, 1-2 HCAC) gave the MIAA power Thunder all they could handle inside Hershey Hall. The Black and Gold got out to a quick start , leading by as many as six in the first half and then, after the host Thunder reversed the deficit in the second half, nearly grabbed the non-conference victory with a pair of jump shots falling off in the closing seconds. Senior guard Katie Arterburn (Indianapolis, Ind.) dropped in five three-point baskets as part of a team-high 18 points, while sophomore forward Samantha Bolen (Greenwood, Ind.) added 12 points.
Despite not working their way into double figures, freshman guard Faith Alexis-Graham (Indianapolis, Ind.) and sophomore forward Tori Christlieb (Culver, Ind.) had strong contributions. Graham dished out six assists, grabbed four rebounds and picked off a steal to go with six points, and Christlieb tallied six points, eight rebounds and a blocked shot.
The Spartans open a span of eight games in the first month of 2016 when Earlham College comes to North Manchester for a 2 p.m. HCAC battle Saturday, Jan. 2.
NOTES: Christlieb's solid recent run continued, as her points per game average is up nearly three (6-8.6) and her rebound per game totals are up nearly one and a half (5.5-6.8) over the past six outings … Arterburn registered a personal single-game season high and her fourth double-figure scoring effort Wednesday.