NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – A hard-fought Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference clash went the way of visiting Bluffton University of Ohio Wednesday, Jan. 22.
Manchester University (8-8 overall, 5-4 HCAC) seemed on the verge of beginning a brief two-game home set on a positive note. The Spartans held a 47-38 lead with just six and a half minutes play, but BU (9-7, 5-4 HCAC) answered with a 19-2 run at that point en route to a 60-56 victory. The home team held a 36-30 edge on the boards but struggled shooting-wise with a 40 percent rate overall, just 20 percent from beyond the arc and 50 percent from the free throw line.
Senior forward Erynn Meiklejohn (Fort Wayne, Ind.) led the Black and Gold offense with 11 points. Sophomore guard Justine Kruger (Francisville, Ind.) was just off double figures with nine, picked up a team-best five steals and shared the rebound lead with junior guard Alyssa Smith (Norvell, Ind.) at six. Junior guard Jocelyn Hamilton (Columbus, Ind.) reached a personal milestone by recording her 100th assist of the year as part of eight for the night, as her run of multiple-assist games moved to 16 straight. She also repelled two Bluffton shot attempts.
The Spartans open the second half of the 2013-14 HCAC slate Saturday, Jan. 25. Earlham College comes to Stauffer-Wolfe Arena for a 1 p.m. tipoff.
NOTES: Meiklejohn turned in her eighth double-figure scoring game of the year and third in the last four games … Hamilton's multiple-assist stretch is even more impressive due to the fact she's dished out at least eight in five of the last six games.