Manchester mens basketball
The team’s second win of the season has helped generate positive attitudes among players.
Photo by MU Athletics

Men’s Basketball Achieves Second Win of Season against Earlham

Grace Denison

Manchester University’s men’s basketball team won their game against Earlham College on Saturday, December 4, with a score of 75-71.

This was the team’s second win of this season following a Nov. 20 against Oberlin. “It was very exciting during the game and I’m glad we were able to pull off the win!” said Bryant Smith, first year. “I think the season hasn’t gone as good as we would have liked but we are improving every day and it will only get better.”

Sophomore Brandon Christlieb got 28 points for the Spartans against Earlham, earning his career best along with 4 rebounds.

The whole team has a positive attitude after their win on Saturday. “There was definitely a sigh of relief with a much-needed win Saturday,” said CJ Hampton, a fifth-year senior. “It felt like this team did a lot of things we knew we were capable of, and we got a much-deserved win.”

Sophomore Hunter Perlich is feeling confident. “I think the rest of the season will go in our favor,” he said. “We are a young team, and we are only getting more experienced as each game goes on.”

Cortiz Buckner, a fifth-year senior, has been injured since the beginning of the season. “Because of injuries, I don’t think the season has been going the way have wanted this far but I think in time we will do a lot better,” he said. “We are really young and just have to mesh together. I think we will do much better once everyone is back and healthy.”

Hampton has similar views. “The proudest moment was probably the win at Earlham this Saturday,” he said. “We have gone through so many big injuries this season already, and Saturday on the road we had our starting point guard and sixth man both get bad ankle injuries early, which kept them out the rest of the game. But we had a lot of players step up and seal a big win on the road that we needed . It showed how deep our bench can go.”

With 17 games left in the season, there’s room to get even better. Hampton describes this season so far as a roller coaster. “I think the rest of the season will be much smoother as we get into a more consistent schedule with conference play,” he said. “Not having back to backs will allow us to properly scout and prepare for teams and we will also have more home games which is always good. I think we have a strong chance of making the conference tournament and I still think we’re capable of winning the championship. We just have to keep getting better whether we win or lose.”

There are only two seniors on the team this year and the rest of the team consists of first years and sophomores. “I think next season will go good because we will return nearly 95% of our roster,” Perlich said.

The men’s basketball team’s next game is at home on Saturday, December 11, against Franklin College.