NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – The Manchester University women's basketball team played its final home game of the 2018-19 season on Wednesday night. The Spartans were defeated in a hard-fought, overtime battle by the visiting Bluffton Beavers 77-69.
Manchester rallied from an early hole and used a 14-6 run to close the first quarter to grab an early 19-16 lead after 10 minutes of play. MU opened the second quarter with five straight points, extending its advantage to 24-16 at the 8:52 mark. Macy Miller (Huntertown, Ind. / Carroll) gave Manchester its largest lead of 10 after sinking a jumper with 6:19 left to play before half. Bluffton went on a run of their own and outscored MU 13-3 the remainder of the period. Both teams were tied at 29 at the break.
Bluffton and Manchester traded baskets over the first three and a half minutes of the third period, with neither side gaining a sizable advantage. It was the Spartans, however, that put together a string of scores and stops; MU built a six-point lead, 44-38, with 3:16 left in the quarter. Manchester led 48-43 heading into the final period of action.
Midway through the final period Manchester once again built its lead to eight, 58-50, but Bluffton put together a late rally to close the gap. Bluffton's Kylie Brock scored 17 of her game-high 29 points in the fourth quarter and led Bluffton's fourth-quarter comeback. Brock scored five points in the last minute and Breanna Graham's three-pointer with seven seconds left forced overtime
Bluffton outlasted the Spartans in overtime, scoring the first five points in the period. Manchester University was limited to just 1-of-8 shooting and six points over the final five minutes. Bluffton point guard TJ Mills scored 13 of her 21 points in overtime.
Bluffton stayed in the hunt for an HCAC Tournament berth with the win on Wednesday night. BU improved to 9-15, 7-10 HCAC. The Spartans will conclude the 2018-19 season this Saturday February 16 at Rose-Hulman. Saturday's game time is set for 2 p.m.