NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University got out to a strong start in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play Saturday, Feb. 9. However, a 32-14 second half roll by visiting Transylvania University sent the Spartans to a 57-49 loss.
The inside combination of sophomore forward Abby Lang (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior forward Erynn Meiklejohn (Fort Wayne, Ind.) led the scoring chart for Coach Josh Dzurick's squad. The two each tallied nine points, while Meiklejohn blocked a team-high two Pioneer shot attempts to go with her point total.
MU, falling to 8-15 overall and 7-9 in league play, jumped out to a 14-4 lead five minutes in. They continued to maintain it throughout the first stanza and went into the halftime break up 35-25.
TU (18-5, 14-2 HCAC) posted the first nine points of the second frame as the game turned nip-and-tuck throughout the second half. The Black and Gold continued to battle, trailing by only two (51-49) with just a minute and a half left before the visitors scored the final six points of the game.
The Spartans, remaining part of a four-team chase for the final two spots in the HCAC postseason tournament, begin a critical final week of the regular season Wednesday, Feb. 13. League rival Anderson University, who is tied for seventh with Bluffton just a game behind MU and Rose-Hulman, pays a visit to Stauffer-Wolfe Arena for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.
NOTES: Looking further into the boxscore, sophomore guard Jocelyn Hamilton (Columbus, Ind.) topped the team in assists (7) and steals (3). Freshman guard Hannah Field (Fort Wayne, Ind.) dished out five assists of her own, while sophomore guard Alyssa Smith (Bluffton, Ind.) led the way on the glass with five rebounds. … Hamilton's assist and steal totals resumed a strong recent trend in both categories. She has seven multiple-assist finishes in the last eight games and four multiple-steal contests in the span of the last five games.