Photo Provided by Manchester University Athletics

Manchester University’s Hillery Shepherd takes the ball down the floor during Wednesday night’s Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game with Defiance College.
Photo Provided by Manchester University Athletics Manchester University’s Hillery Shepherd takes the ball down the floor during Wednesday night’s Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game with Defiance College.
NORTH MANCHESTER – The Manchester University women’s basketball team overcame a slow start and battled past visiting Defiance College on Wednesday night in Stauffer-Wolfe Arena. The Spartans trailed 10-1 four minutes into the game before outscoring the Yellow Jackets 53-30 the rest of the way en route to a 54-40 victory.

A balanced team effort helped the Spartans erase their initial deficit. Eight of the nine Manchester players that saw action scored at least two points and every Spartan that played either grabbed a rebound, scored, or assisted on a basket.

After Defiance’s initial surge to begin the game, Manchester closed the opening quarter with an 11-3 run.

After numerous lead changes in the second period, sophomore Bridget Nash scored six consecutive points to put MU ahead 28-24.

The Spartans led 28-26 at the half.

Manchester would pull away from the Yellow Jackets early in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Hillery Shepherd converted an old-fashioned three-point play that put the Spartans ahead 44-34 with 9:21 remaining. Senior Nicole Weaver knocked down a pair of key 3-pointers that kept the Spartans’ advantage in double-digits.

Manchester held Defiance to 29% (16-55) shooting on Wednesday night. The Yellow Jackets were also held 31% (4-13) shooting from 3-point territory.

The Spartans were led in scoring by Weaver’s 15 points. Weaver made four 3-pointers. Freshman Hannah Lindsey scored 10 points for the Black & Gold. Nash finished with eight points, three rebounds, and two assists while Hillery Shepherd added seven points and six rebounds off the bench. Sophomore Macy Miller scored six points and grabbed eight boards.

The Spartans battled back to .500 on the season, improving to 7-7 with the win. The Spartans also improved to 4-3 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.

Manchester will take on Franklin College in Stauffer-Wolfe Arena on Saturday. The game will begin at 4 p.m. following the conclusion of the men’s game.