LEXINGTON, KY. – Freshman guard Justine Kruger (Francisville, Ind.) topped eight Manchester University players in the scoring column Saturday, Feb. 23, in semifinal round action at the 2013 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
Kruger hit five-of-11 field goal attempts as part of a personal single-game high 11-point afternoon for the Spartans in an 86-55 loss at the hands of tourney top seed and conference champion Transylvania University. She also picked up two steals. Junior forward Erynn Meiklejohn (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and sophomore guard Alyssa Smith (Bluffton, Ind.) narrowly missed double digits, as Meiklejohn wound up with nine points, and Smith added eight points.
Coach Josh Dzurick's squad, closing the 2012-13 season at 11-16, kept the Pioneers (21-5) in their sights throughout a large share of the first half. An early 10-0 run by TU gave them a 19-9 lead, but the Black and Gold kept it there and moved as close as six (24-18) at one point. The hosts managed to pull away by scoring 33 of the game's 36 points from 1:48 of the first half until 11:39 of the second half.
Transylvania put five players in double figures led by Madisen Webb's 18 points that came from a six-of-eight effort from beyond the three-point line.
NOTES: Other box score leaders for the Spartans were freshman guard Hannah Field (Fort Wayne, Ind.) with four assists, sophomore center Alyssa Hammond (Ossian, Ind.) with a blocked shot and sophomore guard Jocelyn Hamilton (Columbus, Ind.) and freshman guard Katie Arterburn (Indianapolis, Ind.) each grabbing five rebounds. … Kruger's effort concluded a strong three-game stretch for the freshman. She averaged six points per game and hit better than 50 percent from the field in the span.