NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Fans in attendance at the second game of day one of the 2016 Main View Tip-Off Classic got their money's worth Friday, Nov. 18.
The host Manchester University Spartans battled back and forth with Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association member St. Mary's College throughout the 40 minutes. The Spartans, trailing by 10 points with just 3:13 left, pieced together a comeback in front of an appreciative home crowd.
Sophomore center Maddy Minehart (Auburn, Ind.) and freshman guard Nicole Weaver (Fort Wayne, Ind.) hit four straight free throws; and sophomore guard Faith-Alexis Graham converted a lay-up to cut the disadvantage to 58-54. After the Belles upped the edge to 60-54, Graham hit a trey from the top of the key that hit the front of the run, bounced around and fell through to make it 60-57 with 42 seconds left. Weaver, as part of a team-high 13 points in her first collegiate contest, canned a three to make it 62-60 in the waning moments, but St. Mary's converted four straight free throws to hang on for the 64-62 decision.
Following Weaver's 13 points, junior forward Samantha Bolen (Greenwood, Ind.) tallied 11 points and grabbed a team-leading seven rebounds. Sophomore forward/guard Beth Schaefer (Fort Wayne, Ind.) also finished with 11 points and produced a blocked shot against the visiting offense.
MU continues action in its home tourney Saturday, Nov. 19. The Black and Gold take on Benedictine University of Illinois at 3 p.m. The Eagles moved to 2-0 on the season in the opener by upending Oglethorpe University of Atlanta, Ga., 75-65.