NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Looking to battle back from a season-opening defeat suffered the evening prior at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena, Manchester University gave unbeaten Benedictine University of Illinois all it could handle Saturday, Nov. 19.
The Spartans (0-2) and Eagles (3-0) went back and forth throughout the early evening. Neither team held more than a seven-point advantage, and the 40 minutes came down to a frenetic final few moments. Freshman guard Nicole Weaver (Fort Wayne, Ind.) continued to impress in the early season for Coach Josh Dzurick's squad, especially down the stretch against Benedictine. Weaver drilled a corner three-pointer and went three-for-four at the charity stripe in the final 51 seconds to bring the Black and Gold back from a once 55-48 deficit with 5:43 to play into a 66-66 tie with just six ticks remaining.
Benedictine managed to hold off the gutty home team effort with its final possession. Guard Venita Parsons grabbed the in-bounds pass, drove in between a double team attempt and canned a banked-in trey with just nine-tenths of a second left for a 69-66 lead. Weaver tried to answer from beyond half court to send the game into an extra session but the shot was off.
Weaver, who added a team-high four steals to her numbers, shared top-scoring honors with MU's Main View Tip-off Classic all-tournament honoree, junior forward Samantha Bolen (Greenwood, Ind.). Bolen tallied 14 points and four rebounds while going a perfect six-for-six at the charity stripe. Senior guard Jenifer Lee (Rockville, Ind.) turned in a big effort, too, with 11 points and three assists, while sophomore forward/center Beth Schaefer (Fort Wayne, Ind.) narrowly missed her first collegiate double-double totaling six points and eight rebounds.
Manchester University begins a span of five in a row on the road Tuesday, Nov. 22. They clash against their second Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opponent in three contests, taking on Calvin College in a 7:30 p.m. start.