NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – The Manchester University women's basketball team upset Earlham College on Monday night in Stauffer-Wolfe Arena by a final score of 68-56. The Spartans ended a 15-game losing streak and earned their first win in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. The Spartans played with high energy and effort for the entire 40 minutes of action on Monday night en route to their first win since mid-November.
MU battled back from an early 9-3 deficit and used a 14-7 run over five minutes of game time to steal a 17-16 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Spartans shot 6-of-12 and 2-of-5 from three in the opening period. The end of the first half was highlighted by Haley Farris' (Sharpsville, Ind. / Tri-Central) hustle play. The Spartans missed a three-pointer but Farris picked the pocket of Earlham's Kayla Bowling and laid the ball as the buzzer sounded. Farris gave the Spartans a 34-25 lead heading into halftime.
The Spartans continued to roll following the intermission, building a 16-point lead in the third period. Miranda Bieghler (Plainfield, Ind. / South Putnam) and Macy Miller (Huntertown, Ind. / Carroll) knocked down back-to-back triples midway through the quarter that forced an Earlham timeout.
The Quakers got within 10 points midway through the fourth quarter but Manchester University immediately responded with a layup from Faith-Alexis Graham (Indianapolis, Ind. / North Central) and never trailed by less than 10 the remainder of the game.
Manchester shot 42 percent (22-of-52) for the game and made 6 three-pointers. The Spartans also made 18-of-27 free throws against the Quakers. The Spartan defense disrupted the Quakers on Monday night as MU held Earlham to 32.8 percent (20-61) shooting and just 26.3 (5-of-17) shooting from downtown. Manchester held Earlham to just nine points in the second quarter. Manchester also forced 21 turnovers.
Four Spartans finished in double figures. Freshman Bridget Nash (Carmel, Ind. / Bishop Chatard) matched her career-high with 15 points. Macy Miller scored 13 points and matched her career-high with eight rebounds. Both Haley Farris and Faith-Alexis Graham added 11 points in Monday's win. Farris added seven rebounds and added a career-high six steals. Senior Beth Schaefer (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll) added eight points and five boards.
Manchester improved to 3-17, 1-12 HCAC while Earlham dropped to 8-13, 6-8 HCAC. The Spartans will look to win back-to-back games for the first time since mid-November when the team travels to face rival Anderson on Wednesday February 6 at 7:30 p.m.