FRANKLIN, IND. – Hard-nosed … never say die … tenacious … gritty.
These adjectives could all be used to describe a pivotal Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference win at Franklin College's Spurlock Center Wednesday, Jan. 31. Coach Josh Dzurick's Spartans observed the final day of the first month of 2018 in style, coming back from an early seven-point deficit and then, when it was needed the most, reeling off the final nine points of the contest to seal a 44-40 decision that enabled them to sweep the season series from the Grizzlies.
Sophomore guard Nicole Weaver (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and freshman forward/center Hannah Smith (Upland, Ind.) each canned crucial three-point buckets in the late run that encompassed the final 3:02. They turned out to the only makes from outside the arc for the visitors, but they allowed MU to improve to 6-14 overall and 5-8 in the league, good for a tie for sixth with FC going into the regular season's home stretch.
Smith's 11-point, six-rebound outing guided the Spartans in both categories. Junior guard Faith-Alexis Graham (Indianapolis, Ind.) also wound up in scoring double digits with 10 to go with five boards. Other top numbers were registered by freshman guard Carli Skinner (Anderson, Ind.) (two assists); fellow freshman guard Mikalia Taylor (Connersville, Ind.) (two blocked shots); and sophomore guard Haley Farris (Sharpsville, Ind.) and Weaver (three steals).
Manchester University returns to Stauffer-Wolfe Arena Saturday, Feb. 3. They face off against Transylvania University as part of a league doubleheader with the men's team. Tip-off time is 1 p.m.