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Grant Smith scores 16 to help lead IWU past Taylor

- Contributed

MARION, Ind. – It was anything but a silent night in Luckey Arena as a raucous crowed witnessed No. 6 Indiana Wesleyan secure a 95-86 win over Taylor (Ind.) in men’s basketball action. Kyle Mangas poured in 30 points and Grant Smith added 16 to lead the Wildcats to their 13th consecutive victory in the IWU-TU Rivalry Game sponsored by Marion General Hospital.

The Trojans were able to gain a one-point lead early in the second half, but he Wildcats responded with a 13-2 run to lead 74-64 at the midway point of the half and Taylor could draw no closer than seven the rest of the night.

"I have to give Taylor a lot of credit," IWU coach Greg Tonagel said afterward. "They played really well and they pushed us tonight. And I saw another gear in our own team. We took a good shot and we continued to play. I am really proud of the different ways our guys are stepping up.”

For the game, Indiana Wesleyan shot 60.6-percent in the opening half on 20-of-33 shooting and finished at 58.6-percent (34 of 58).

The win was Wesleyan's 13th straight over Taylor, as coach Greg Tonagel improved to 24-5 over the Grant County rival.

Adding to the Wildcat scoring column was Evan Maxwell with 14 points, and the duo of Jacob Johnson and Ben Carlson with 10 points each.

The win improved IWU to 21-6 over all and 12-3 in the Crossroads League. Taylor fell to 15-12 and 6-9.

The Wildcats are now tied with the University of Saint Francis atop the Crossroads League standings with three games to play.

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Post-halftime charge lifts Manchester past Anderson

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – A significant third period run for host Manchester University enabled them to beat Anderson University (Ind.) 70-53, and climb into a tie for fifth on the 2017-18 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings.

The Spartans, improving to 7-15 overall and 6-9 in the league, broke away from what had been a tightly-contested first 20 minutes behind a 25-11 third-quarter charge that began with them tallying 22 of the first 24 for a commanding 50-27 lead after only being up 28-25 at the break.

After struggling from the field to the tune of 25.7 percent in the first half, MU rallied with a 42.9 percent effort over the second 20 minutes. Leading that charge was a quartet of players for the Black and Gold.

Sophomore guard Nicole Weaver led the Spartans with 15 points, followed by freshman guard Mikalia Taylor, who tallied 14. The former Connersville Spartans was also 6-for-6 from the charity stripe and added three assists.

Junior guard Faith-Alexis Graham finished with 13 points, a blocked shot, and five steals; and sophomore guard Haley Farris ended with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Freshman forward/center Hannah Smith played a prominent role, too, with nine points and eight boards.

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IU East clinches conference title at home

RICHMOND, Ind. — The Indiana University East men's basketball team clinched the River States Conference East Division title Feb. 6 with a 91-66 home win against the University of Rio Grande on Lingle Court.

NAIA Division II No. 2 IU East (25-2, 14-0) extended its program-best winning streak to 19 games. Rio Grande is 9-18 overall and 4-10 in the league.

IU East has won four consecutive division championships, claiming the title every year since the conference went to a two-division format.

On defense, Jaylen McKay did the majority of the work to limit Rio Grande top scorer Will Hill, the No. 7 scorer in the nation, to four points — 19 below his average.

"A good win," McKay said following the game. "It feels good (to clinch the division championship). We've been working since the summer and putting in the hard work every day, so it feels good to do it early on in the season."

Offensively, Lucas Huffman scored 16 points to point the Red Wolves toward victory. Bishop Smith added 15 points, and former Connersville High School standout Charles Peterson added 11.

"We've improved on our ball movement a lot," McKay said. "Now the ball movement is fast, and at times we pass up shots to get even better ones, so ball movement is definitely something that we've improved on." 

 

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Gardner-Webb stumbles in conference game

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Gardner-Webb had a pair of scorers in double-figures, yet the Runnin' Bulldogs would fall to Liberty by a 59-41 score in Big South Conference action on Tuesday night inside of the Vines Center.

Ky'Asia Stanford and Alexus Hill led Gardner-Webb (14-9, 4-7 Big South) offensively, scoring 16 and 13 points respectively. The Runnin' Bulldogs made 16 of their 50 attempts (32.0 percent) from the floor.

Former Connersville Lady Spartan Tierra Huntsman did not score in the game, but the redshirt senior did manage to collect three steals, and assist and a block in 24 minutes of play.

Liberty (15-8, 10-1 Big South) made 41.5 percent (22-of-53) of their baskets, led by Keyen Green who had a game-high 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The Flames outrebounded the Runnin' Bulldogs by a 46-25 margin, including an offensive board differential of 29-15. Second-chance points proved to be a key statistic throughout the game as Liberty outscored GWU, 22-6, in that category.