HANOVER, IND. – Manchester University put three players in double figures Saturday, Feb. 21, but host Hanover College took advantage of key stretches in each half to hold off the Spartans in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and regular season finales for both squads.
Junior guard Justine Kruger (Francesville, Ind.) tallied 18 points, six rebounds and three steals to lead the Black and Gold (13-12 overall, 10-8 HCAC) in each category. Senior forward Abby Lang (Indianapolis, Ind.) added 16 points and grabbed five rebounds, while junior guard Katie Arterburn (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored 11 points due to three three-pointers and also pulled down five boards.
The lead changed 11 times and the two sides were tied eight times over the 40 minutes inside Collier Arena. MU led by as much as three in the first half before the hosts went on a 17-5 run over the final 5:55 of the stanza to lead 40-30 at the break. The Spartans forged ahead again in the second half, going up 55-52 with 11:17 to play, but the Panthers used a 12-4 surge to take the lead back for good.
Manchester University, closing the regular season with four wins in their last six games, takes the fifth seed into the 2015 HCAC postseason tournament. Pairings, dates and sites will be announced Sunday, Feb. 22.
NOTES: Looking further into MU's statistics, senior guard Jocelyn Hamilton (Columbus, Ind.) topped the squad with six assists, completing a week in which she averaged seven per game, and senior guard Alyssa Smith (Bluffton, Ind.) tallied seven points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals … Kruger's 18-point afternoon and Lang's 16-point outing equaled personal single-game career scoring highs for both players … Arterburn compiled her third straight and sixth double-digit point total in the last eight games while extending her string of contests in which she's made multiple three-pointers to eight.