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January 16, 2013

MU falls short in topsy-turvy league contest

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – It was a tale of two halves Wednesday, Jan. 16, inside the Stauffer-Wolfe Center on Manchester University's campus.

The host Spartans started very fast, opening a 20-9 early en route to a 39-22 advantage at the break. MU hit better than 65 percent from the field and 75 percent from beyond the arc while outrebounding Bluffton 19-11. The second stanza opened much like the first with a 10-3 run by the Black and Gold giving the home side a 49-25 lead with 17:32 left.

Enter Bluffton (9-7 overall, 4-5 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference). Fueled by five made three-pointers as part of a 72 percent overall and 75 percent effort from beyond the arc in the second half, the Beavers went on a 33-4 run that overtook their hosts. Manchester, dipping to 6-10 overall and 5-4 in the HCAC, tried to battle back over the final six and a half minutes but couldn't regain the lead as part of a 78-73 loss.

Junior forward Erynn Meiklejohn (Fort Wayne, Ind.) led the Spartans with 11 points. She also blocked a Bluffton shot attempt and pulled down four rebounds. Freshman guard Katie Arterburn (Indianapolis, Ind.) came off the bench for 10 points. Sophomore guard Jaimie Childress (Indianapolis, Ind.) added a near double-double with eight points and eight rebounds to go with a team-high five assists.

Manchester University, sitting fifth on the league standings, takes to the road to begin the second half of conference play Saturday, Jan. 19. Tipoff at Mt. St. Joseph's Harrelson Center is 3 p.m.

NOTES: Childress saw her strong recent run of play continue. She's averaging better than nine points and more than six rebounds per game over the last three contests. The sophomore has also registered three straight multiple-assist games in the span, as her scoring average is up almost two full points (2.9-4.5 ppg) and her rebounding average has risen five-tenths (3.4-3.9 rpg).