Manhattan Jaspers Win Fifth Straight

Howard Goldin

Bronx, NY---For the second straight Sunday, the Manhattan Jaspers (19-6, 12-4) defeated the Niagara Purple Eagles (6-21, 3-13). The second of the home and home MAAC series was played in the Draddy Gymnasium on Manhattan’s Riverdale campus.

One week earlier, the Japers and Purple Eagles fought a tough battle before the Jaspers notched a road victory by one point, 78-77.
The latter Sunday contest was a great contrast to the game one week earlier. Two baskets in the paint by Rhamel Brown gave the Jaspers a 4-0 advantage at 17:12. Manhattan never lost its initial lead. A three by Manhattan’s leading scorer, George Beamon, brought the Jaspers their first double digit lead, 22-12, at 9:35.

A basket from beyond the arc by Shane Richards at 6:14 raised Manhattan to its largest lead, 31-15, in the first half. The Jaspers led, 41-30, at the half.

Early in the second half (18:14), the Manhattan lead fell to single figures, 43-34, after a layup by Marcus Ware. Another three by Richards raised the lead of the Jaspers to more than 20, 87-57, at 5:57. With 3:29 remaining in the game, Manhattan reached its largest lead, 85-60, on a layup by Ashton Pankey. Manhattan was victorious, in the one-sided contest, by a score of 90-72.

The Jaspers shot excellently and identically in each half, 17 for 29 (58.6%), while holding the visitors to 8 for 32 (25%) in the first half. Head coach Steve Masielo of Manhattan used his full roster quite effectively. Twelve Jaspers played, ten were on court at least 10 minutes and none played more than 26 minutes. The Jaspers were especially dominant in the paint, outscoring Niagara, 50-24.

Several of the contributors to the victory moved up in the Manhattan career rankings. Beamon’s game high 27 points moved him to 1,707 (4th place). Brown’s two blocks raised him to 342 (2nd) and 1st among active Division I players. His five rebounds gave him 756 (8th). Michael Alvarado’s five assists raised him to 344 (6th). Three 3-pointers by sophomore Shane Richards moved him up to 7th with 128.

The Jaspers go on the road for two games, at Monmouth (2/19) and Siena (2/21) before returning to Draddy to host arch-rival Iona on February 28.