December 14, 2013

Women's Basketball Drops Contest to Manchester

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Manchester University gained the upper hand on the offensive end to defeat the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology women's basketball team, 61-42, in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference battle of defensive powers Saturday.

Manchester (4-3, 3-0 HCAC) remained unbeaten in conference play by holding the Engineers (2-6, 1-2 HCAC) to just 31 percent (13-42) from the field, including a 5-for-22 (22.7 percent) performance in the first half.

The Spartans used 26 points from its leading scorer Erynn Meiklejohn and 10 more from teammate Abby Lang to finish the game at a 51.2 percent shooting clip.

Manchester entered the game holding opponents to 57.8 points per contest, while Rose-Hulman's scoring defense entered at 62.6 points per game.

Rose-Hulman trailed by as many as 15 in the first half before cutting into Manchester's lead with a 6-for-7 effort from the free throw line in the final three minutes to make the score 33-22 at the break. Manchester would open the second half on  an 11-2 run before the Engineers' Kristen Belyea (Mahomet, Ill./Mahomet Seymour) drilled a 3-pointer from the wing at the 14:21 mark turned the tide.

The Engineers' defense took a stand for the next five minutes, as RHIT went on a 10-0 run, fueled by two buckets from sophomore Carrie Morris (Altadena, Calif./Mayfield) and a Lauren Meadows' (Indianapolis, Ind./Brebeuf) triple to cut the lead back to 10, 44-34, with 10:01 to play.

After Meiklejohn ended Manchester's scoring drought with a pair of free throws, Meadows drained her second 3 of the game to bring the Engineers within nine (46-37) with nine minutes left.

But a Meiklejohn 3 stymied the Engineers' run and the Spartans would finish the contest on a 15-5 run -- holding the Engineers scoreless for four minutes -- to seal the road victory.

Freshman Abbie Marshall (St. Louis, Mo./Nerinx Hall) led the Engineers with nine points and four rebounds and classmate Josie Schmidt (Eighty Four, Pa./Ringgold) added eight points and four boards.

Rose-Hulman will make a quick turnaround to Hulbert Arena, as the Engineers host Illinois Tech Monday night at 7:30 p.m.