NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – A fan might take a look at the final score from the Wednesday, Feb. 15, Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference match-up between Manchester University and Defiance College and see a runaway.
However, as a strong home crowd of over 400 raucous fans could attest to, it was anything but that, as MU battled the visiting Yellow Jackets tooth and nail over 40 minutes. Freshman guard/forward Hannah Newby (Danville, Ind.) came off the bench for a glowing 16 points and eight rebounds which included four three-point buckets, and sophomore forward/center Beth Schaefer (Fort Wayne, Ind.) tallied 10 points and grabbed five rebounds.
Coach Josh Dzurick's team battled back from a tough shooting start that saw them trailing 18-2 in the first period, trimming the deficit to nine (35-26) in the closing moments of the second stanza. It was more of the same in the second half, as Defiance posted the first seven points before the Black and Gold answered, much to the delight of their home fans, with a 14-8 stretch, ending the third period with the contest outcome still in doubt at 51-40. Kelsey Tiejte, the Yellow Jackets' inside presence, wore down the Spartans over the final 10 minutes, as she finished off a 25-point, 17-rebound, seven-blocked shot effort with seven of their 22 in the period.
Manchester University (8-16 overall, 7-10 HCAC) closes out the 2016-17 season Saturday, Feb. 18. It's Senior Day as guard Jenifer Lee (Rockville, Ind.) is honored pre-game before the Spartans take on Transylvania University in a 1 p.m. tipoff.