ANDERSON, Ind. – The Manchester University women's basketball team rallied late and held off rival Anderson University on Wednesday night by a final score of 60-55. The Spartans have now won back-to-back contests.
MU started the game off on the right foot, using strong defense to limit Anderson to just eight points in the opening quarter. The Spartans made seven field goals compared to AU's two in the first 10 minutes on their way to an early 16-8 lead. Anderson did rally in the second period, outscoring Manchester 20-12 to even the game at 28-all at halftime.
Both teams struggled to score out of halftime, shooting a combined 8-of-30 from the floor in the third quarter. Both teams also combined to go 0-of-7 from three-point range. Anderson led 43-39 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Spartans opened the final period with an 8-2 run that gave Manchester a 47-45 lead at the 7:17 mark. With just under five minutes to play, MU used a 6-0 run to grab a 53-47 advantage. Manchester University managed several key defensive stops down the stretch and converted 5-of-6 free throws in the final minute to secure the win.
For the game, Manchester shot 24-of-69 from the floor. Anderson was held to 19-of-55 (35 percent) shooting for the game and made just 14-of-30 (47 percent) of its foul shots. Both teams had 47 rebounds.
Bridget Nash (Carmel, Ind. / Bishop Chatard) led the MU offense with 15 points and five rebounds. Nicole Weaver (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Homestead) added 12 points off the bench and nailed all four of her free throws at the end of the game. Faith-Alexis Graham (Indianapolis, Ind. / North Central) tallied seven points, eight rebounds, and six assists in Wednesday's win.
Manchester improved to 4-17, 2-12 HCAC with its second straight win on Wednesday. Anderson dropped its fourth straight contest, falling to 9-13, 5-10 HCAC. The Spartans will be on the road again this weekend traveling to Hanover College on Saturday February 9. The Spartans and Panthers are set to play at 5 p.m.