Freshman Logan Willoughby dribbles the ball during Manchester’s 73-69 victory over Rose-Hulman
Freshman Logan Willoughby dribbles the ball during Manchester’s 73-69 victory over Rose-Hulman
NORTH MANCHESTER – The Manchester University men’s basketball team delivered another scrappy performance inside of Stauffer-Wolfe Arena on Wednesday night. The Black & Gold overcame an 11-point deficit in the 2nd half and held on late for a gritty 73-69 victory over the Fightin’ Engineers of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

After an evenly played first half, the Fightin’ Engineers opened the second period on an 11-0 run to grab a 47-36 advantage. Manchester immediately responded with a 9-0 run of its own over the next two minutes of action, whittling Rose’s lead to just a basket, 49-47.

The Spartans regained the lead at the 12:02 mark of the period following a three-pointer by Ty Lynas (Crawfordsville). After a quick basket by the Fightin’ Engineers to tie the game at 53, the Spartans would go on a 7-0 to gain a 60-53 advantage. The surge was led by a basket in the paint by Brandon Christlieb (Ashley), a pair of free throws by Logan Willoughby (Greenwood), and a transition triple from Ty Lynas.

After Rose-Hulman regained a slim one-point advantage with just five minutes left in regulation, the Spartans connected on four consecutive three-point attempts to regain the lead for good. Quentez Columbus (South Bend), Brandon Christlieb, CJ Hampton (Hammond) and Logan Willoughby all buried perimeter jumpers to help lift the Spartans to their fourth straight victory.

Manchester finished shooting 44.8 percent (26-58) on Wednesday night. The Spartans knocked in 15 threes in the winning effort.

Rose-Hulman converted 45.9 percent (28-61) of its field goal attempts. The Fightin’ Engineers were limited to just 3-of-18 shooting (16.7 percent) from beyond the three-point arc.

Rose-Hulman held a hefty 47-23 advantage on the glass, however, the Spartans were able to convert 18 Engineer turnovers into 21 points. The Spartans only committed 11 turnovers. Manchester also assisted on 19 of its 26 made field goals.  

Brandon Christlieb led three Spartans in double figures with 17 points. Christlieb, the current HCAC Player of the Week, shot 7-10 from the field and was 3-5 from three-point territory. Ty Lynas added 14 points off the bench. Lynas buried a trio of three-pointers in the win. Logan Willoughby scored 13 points off the bench in his collegiate debut. Willoughby also knocked in a trio of three-pointers – including a three just before the end of the 1st half to tie the game.

Both CJ Hampton and Quentez Columbus lined the stat sheet in Wednesday’s win. Hampton finished with eight points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Columbus added seven points, seven assists, three rebounds, and two steals.

Max Chaplin led Rose-Hulman with 21 points.

Winners of four straight, the Spartans (6-8, 5-2 HCAC) will travel to Hanover College on Saturday January 15. Game time against the Panthers is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Rose-Hulman (8-4, 4-2 HCAC) is scheduled to host Defiance College on Saturday January 15 at 3 p.m.