NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University put two players in double-figure scoring, while another Spartan grabbed double digits on the glass to highlight the 2014-15 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener Wednesday, Dec. 3.
Defiance College of Ohio (2-4 overall, 1-0 HCAC) worked past a hard-nosed Spartans' team effort with a 68-61 overtime decision. MU (2-2 overall, 0-1 HCAC) took a 56-54 lead with the first bucket of the extra frame before DC turned the score their way for good with a 7-0 stretch.
Senior center Alyssa Hammond (Osgood, Ind.) battled Defiance College standout post player Kelsey Tietje tooth and nail over the 40 minutes, just missing a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Junior forward Katie Arterburn (Indianapolis, Ind.) topped the Spartans' point chart with 11, while senior guard Alyssa Smith (Bluffton, Ind.) had a strong stat line with six points, 10 rebounds, two assists and five steals.
The visiting Yellowjackets overcame a seven-point deficit with just under eight minutes left in regulation. Sophomore guard Erica Smay, one of four players tallying 10-points-or-more for DC, banked in a three-pointer with 20 seconds left for a 52-51 edge, but MU senior guard Jocelyn Hamilton (Columbus, Ind.) nailed a three-pointer from the left wing, bringing the home crowd to its feet, for a 54-52 advantage with eight seconds left. DC senior guard/forward Megan Zachrich drove the length of the floor and got a lay-up off as the buzzer sounded, sending the game into overtime at 54-54.
The Black and Gold take to the road Saturday, Dec. 5, for a 2 p.m. tipoff at Earlham College.
NOTES: Smith's double-digit rebound effort was the first such for a Spartans' player since February of 2014 and the second of her career. Her five steals marked a personal career single-game high.