Franklin holds off late Spartan charge for close-knit decision
NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University sophomore guard Brady Dolezal (Tipton, Ind.) continued his sparkling recent run of play Wednesday, Jan. 29, during a home clash with Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Franklin College.
Dolezal, the reigning HCAC Player of the Week, proved his recent award with 28 points on eight-of-13 shooting from the field and a strong 11-of-13 effort from the charity stripe. He also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out two assists as part of a night in which he extended his double-figure scoring streak to six straight games with his third successive 20-points-or-more outing. He and sophomore forward Matt Brown (Hobart, Ind.) proved an effective one-two punch for MU (4-14 overall, 3-8 HCAC) with Brown tallying a personal single-game high 16 points, but visiting Franklin (8-10, 5-6 HCAC) took advantage of a 10-0 run in the final 2:20 of the opening stanza to propel themselves to an 81-74 victory.
Coach Brad Nadborne's squad kept battling back despite the late first half stretch and an early second half burst from the Grizzlies that saw the visitors build as big as a 17-point lead. MU chipped away and knocked the deficit down to three (77-74) with only 17 seconds left. However, FC received four straight made free throws from senior guard Trae Washington and forced a Black and Gold turnover to preserve the victory.
Other top numbers for the Spartans came from junior forward Jon Thompson (Rushville, Ind.) who shared the rebound (seven) and assist (four) leads; junior guard Grant Newlin (Muncie, Ind.) who dished out four assists and picked up five steals; and sophomore forward Jarod Schrock (Logansport, Ind.) and freshman guard Blake Brouwer (Elkhart, Ind.) who each blocked two Grizzly shot attempts.
MU continues its current five-game homestand Saturday, Feb. 1. Transylvania University comes to Stauffer-Wolfe Arena for a 3 p.m. tipoff.
NOTES: The Spartans go into the weekend in eighth-place on the league standings. They trail a fifth-place tie between Franklin and Transylvania by two games with Anderson University only a game ahead of them in seventh … Brown's double-digit finish was his third of the year. He continued his top-notch free throw shooting as well, hitting on seven-of-eight chances to keep his season percentage at 93.3 percent (28 of 30) … Dolezal's 11 made charity tosses marked the second time in the last three games he's canned 10-or-more.