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February 13, 2013

Black and Gold gain big league win

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Fueled by a pair of double-figure scoring games from junior forward Erynn Meiklejohn (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and sophomore forward Abby Lang (Indianapolis, Ind.), Manchester University wrapped up a season series sweep of Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Anderson University with a 51-40 victory Wednesday, Feb. 13.

Meiklejohn poured in her third 20-point-plus total of the season with 20 points on eight-of-11 field goal shooting, while Lang finished with 11 points. The duo was also tough on the glass with Lang grabbing five boards and Meiklejohn taking four as part of a 33-30 edge on the glass for the Spartans (9-15 overall, 8-9 HCAC).

MU got out to a fast start, scoring the game's first 12 points and building their advantage to 24-7 at halftime. Coach Josh Dzurick had been seeking a strong defensive effort and received one in the first 20 minutes, as the Black and Gold limited the Ravens (7-17, 6-11) to 13 percent field goal shooting.

"I was glad to see us get out to a good beginning on both ends," Dzurick said. "We needed something like this tonight in a big-game situation. Anderson did struggle to make their shots in the first half, but our defense contributed to that by being aggressive."

Anderson opened the second frame much as MU did the first. A 23-11 stretch over the first 15 minutes brought the visitors to within 35-30. However, the Spartans answered right back with a 14-3 run of their own to ice the decision.

"We went back to being aggressive offensively and defensively towards the end of the game," Dzurick said. "I was glad to see our team respond that way after (Anderson) pinned us in a corner by hitting shots and playing their tempo to open the second half."

Other top numbers on the box score for Manchester University belonged to sophomore guard Jocelyn Hamilton (Columbus, Ind.) with six assists; sophomore guard Caitlyn Ailor (Ossian, Ind.) with four steals; and sophomore forward Alyssa Hammond (Ossian, Ind.) and freshman guard Justine Kruger (Francisville, Ind.) with five rebounds each to join Lang for the team lead.

MU wraps up the 2012-13 regular season with a home game against Earlham College Saturday, Feb. 16. Tipoff is 1 p.m. at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena.

NOTES: Hamilton's team-high six assists marked the eighth time in the last nine games she's dished out multiples in a game. … Lang's double-digit finish was her fifth of the season. … Hammond has registered four-or-more rebounds in eight straight games.