HANOVER, IND. – A second half comeback by Manchester University wound up short at Hanover College's Collier Arena Saturday, Feb. 6.
After the host Panthers (9-12 overall, 5-9 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference) tallied eight of the first 10 points and built as large as a 23-point lead in the second half, the visiting Spartans (6-15 overall, 4-10 HCAC) closed to within 11 (68-57) with nearly three minutes remaining in regulation. HC managed to stop the roll, scoring four of the final six for a 71-59 decision.
Senior guard Justin Kruger (Francesville, Ind.) topped the Black and Gold's scoring column registering 14 points to go with a line that included six rebounds and four steals. MU's bench was next on the list, as junior guard Jenifer Lee (Rockville, Ind.) ended with 11 and also picked off two steals, and freshman forward Beth Schaefer (Fort Wayne, Ind.) wound up one rebound shy of a double-double (10 points, nine rebounds). Sophomore forward Samantha Bolen (Greenwood, Ind.) rounded out the double-digit list, scoring 10 points to go with three blocked shots and two steals.
The Spartans, just a game behind a sixth-place tie between Hanover and Defiance College on the loop standings with two weeks remaining, take to the road Wednesday, Feb. 10. They conclude the season series at rival Anderson University inside O.C. Lewis Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m.
NOTES: Kruger concluded an impressive week with her Saturday efforts, scoring 25 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, picking up six steals, hitting 83.3 percent from the charity stripe and converting at just under 50 percent from the field in two contests … Schaefer's point and rebound totals were single-game personal bests … Lee equaled a single-game season high with her point compilation … Sophomore forward Tori Christlieb (Culver, Ind.) saw her rebound average continue to climb with nine boards, part of a run in the last four games that's seen a climb of five-tenths (5.5-6). She also blocked three Panther shot attempts, marking the third time in the last four outings she's reached the same number.