Gritty effort highlights start of home stand

Gritty effort highlights start of home stand

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – The sophomore-senior tandem of forward Samantha Bolen (Greenwood, Ind.) and guard Justine Kruger (Francisville, Ind.) led Manchester University in the scoring column Saturday, Jan. 16.

Bolen and Kruger each registered 10 points to top the Spartans' effort in front of the home crowd at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena. The hosts (4-11 overall, 2-6 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference) were neck-and-neck with the perennial HCAC power Transylvania University Pioneers for a good share of the first half, keeping the deficit within double digits until the close. A bucket from TU's Kristen Keeney to wind up the opening frame pushed the lead to 40-29 and ignited a key 8-0 run, with a pair of three-point buckets to start the second half, that got the visitors (10-5 overall, 6-2 HCAC) off and running to a 77-53 victory.

Looking into MU's individual statistics, Bolen, who hit 50 percent from the field, was part of the top scoring framework for a third successive contest, and Kruger's double-figure effort included a team-high four assists along with one of the Black and Gold's five steals. Junior guard Jenifer Lee (Rockville, Ind.) came off the bench to tally nine points and dish out two assists, and freshman guard/forward Beth Schaefer (Fort Wayne, Ind.) came up big on the glass with eight boards to go with four points.

Manchester University concludes the first half of the 2015-16 conference campaign Wednesday, Jan. 20. The Spartans welcome league rival Anderson University for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

NOTES: Bolen found herself in double digits for the sixth time in the last seven contests. Since the span began, her points per game average is up nearly two (7.6-9.2) … Schaefer's eight rebounds were a personal single-game high and the third time this year she's ended with five-or-more … The Spartans remain a part of the conference's postseason tournament picture, standing among a three-way tie for eighth with Anderson University and Earlham College that's only a game behind a tie for fifth between Hanover College and Mt. St. Joseph University.