Jaspers Head Into Holiday Break With 58-49 Win
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - In its final game before a nine-day holiday break, the Manhattan College women's basketball team put forth what was arguably its best effort of the season on Wednesday night. The Jaspers (3-7) led virtually wire-to-wire in a 58-49 victory over Ohio (4-6) at Draddy Gymnasium.
"Going into the game, we had one goal, and that was to play our best basketball game of the season" Head Coach John Olenowski said. "That was the goal, and I'm so pleased with the girls' efforts. My hat's off to our team. They came to play tonight, and they played 40 minutes. The girls couldn't have given me a better Christmas present."
After Manhattan scored the first four points of the game, Ohio rallied for six straight to take the lead. However, the Jaspers immediately went back in front on a three-pointer by Monica Roeder (Marlton, N.J.), and they never trailed again. That trey started a 10-0 run that gave Manhattan a 14-6 advantage at the 10:50 mark.
Ohio responded with a 6-2 run to pull within four, 16-12, before the Jaspers got consecutive three-balls from Nicole Isaacs (Fair Haven, N.J.), Allison Skrec (Roselle, N.J.) and Roeder to extend their cushion to nine points, 25-16, with 5:15 to go in the half. The Bobcats scored five of the final seven points of the period to trim the margin to six, 27-21, at intermission.
Kiyanna Black drained a trey to pull Ohio within four, 34-30, with 13:59 remaining, but Roeder immediately countered with a three-pointer of her own to ignite a 7-0 run that gave the Jaspers their largest lead of the game, a 41-30 advantage at the 10:43 mark. The Bobcats got back within six at 43-37 before Toni-Ann Lawrence (Elmont, N.Y.) sank a layup to spark a 6-1 Manhattan rally that pushed the margin back to 11 points, 49-38, with 5:01 to play.
The Bobcats again chipped away, making it a five-point game, 49-44, on Shavon Robinson's steal and coast-to-coast layup at the 3:56 mark. However, the Jaspers got a jumper from Lawrence and a pair of free throws by Ashley Stec (Cazenovia, N.Y.) to regain their nine-point edge, and Skrec hit three foul shots down the stretch to cap a 58-49 victory.
"There was no let up," Olenowski said. "They (Ohio) had to earn all the points that they got. We never thought we were in trouble. We just had to play smart down the stretch, which we did."
Roeder led the Jaspers with 15 points while also handing out four assists. Shayna Ericksen (Hackettstown, N.J.) had 10 points and seven rebounds, while Lawrence tallied 10 points and five boards. Skrec contributed eight points, four rebounds and a career-high seven steals, and Maggie Blair (Briarcliff, N.Y.) grabbed a career-best eight boars, as the Jaspers outrebounded the Bobcats 34-30. Manhattan shot 45 percent (18-of-40) from the field, 40 percent (6-of-15) from three-point range, and 66.7 percent (16-of-24) at the charity stripe.
Symone Lyles posted 11 points off the bench for Ohio, and Black also reached double-figures with 10 points. Robinson pulled down a team-high seven rebounds, while Ashley Fowler had two assists and four steals to go along with five points. The Bobcats were held to just 26 percent (13-of-50) shooting, including 20 percent (3-of-15) from downtown. Ohio shot 74.1 percent (20-of-27) at the free throw line.
Manhattan now has nine days off before returning to action. The Jaspers conclude non-conference play with a visit to Monmouth (2-6) on Dec. 29. It will be the last meeting between the squads before the Hawks join the Jaspers in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) next season.NOTES: It was the first-ever meeting between the squads, and Manhattan is now 2-0 this season against first-time opponents...Manhattan took on a Mid-American Conference team for the first time since the 2006-07 season...The Jaspers used a different starting lineup for the fifth consecutive game and the seventh time this season...Skrec's previous career-high was three steals, which she's done twice, including Manhattan's last two games prior to Wednesday night...The Jaspers outrebounded their opponent for the first time all year...The victory was Olenowski's 60th as Manhattan's head coach...Four of the Jaspers' next five games will be on the road.