Spartans close pre-Thanksgiving slate with thriller

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NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – A back-and-forth non-conference clash went the way of Manchester University Tuesday, Nov. 19.

A free throw from sophomore guard Grant Newlin (Muncie, Ind.) broke a 63-63 tie with eight seconds left. Indiana University at Kokomo took the rebound off a missed second charity shot and went the length of the floor but a strong defensive play by the Black and Gold created a turnover in the final three seconds to preserve a 64-63 victory.

Coach Brad Nadborne's squad was led by a sparkling effort from sophomore guard Greg Flores (Hammond, Ind.). Flores scored a game-high 28 points, hitting four three-pointers and 10-of-20 overall field goal attempts. Newlin, including his game-winning free throw, tallied 14 to go with two assists, two steals and two rebounds, while sophomore forward Silas Sims (Hope, Ind.) added 10 points and five rebounds.

The Spartans, moving to 2-1, bolted to a 14-point first half lead, but the visiting Cougars (3-4) rallied back late in the frame to cut the deficit to five (35-30) at the break. IU-Kokomo got a quick start in the second half and held a slim margin until the frenetic final moments.

Manchester continues its 2012-13 campaign by competing in the 2012 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference/Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Challenge Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 24 and 25, at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind. The Spartans will play Kalamazoo Saturday at 2 p.m. and Trine at 2 p.m. Sunday.

NOTES: Flores' 28-point outing was the most for an MU player since Mitch Schaefer scored the same amount against Defiance in 2008. … The victory moved the Black and Gold's current home openers' win streak to seven.