ANDERSON, IND. – It took every bit of three double-figure scoring totals for Manchester University to claim the first edition of the 2017-18 series against Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Anderson University Wednesday, Jan. 10.
Junior guard Faith-Alexis Graham (Indianapolis, Ind.) poured in a team-high 14 points to go with five assists and two steals. Freshman guard Mikalia Taylor (Connersville, Ind.) canned three treys as part of a 13-point night, and fellow freshman Hannah Smith (Upland, Ind.) finished with 12 points and three rebounds to help carry the flag for Coach Josh Dzurick's side. MU improved to 4-10 overall and 3-4 in league with the 65-63 thriller that saw a back and forth theme throughout.
The winless Ravens proved tough on their guests from the get-go. After the Black and Gold held several small edges in the first period, a 13-3 run midway through the second frame gave Anderson impetus that it carried to a 33-27 halftime advantage. MU's trademark defense stepped to the forefront in the third quarter not surrendering a field goal until the 3:42 mark, as the Spartans claimed the lead back and mushroomed it to as much as 10. AU nearly had another comeback in them, as they whittled away at the disadvantage and had the ball in the waning moments trailing by just one and two but couldn't convert in either situation.
The Spartans climbed into sixth place on the loop standings, winning for the third time in their last four conference outings. They continue their current road swing, traveling to Transylvania University Saturday, Jan. 13, for a 1 p.m. tip-off.