Big Second Half Propels Manhattan Past Siena
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - The Manhattan men's basketball team continued its superb play on Saturday as the Jaspers rolled past Siena 72-53 in the MAAC National game of the Week on ESPN3 at Draddy Gymnasium. George Beamon led the Jaspers in scoring for the 14th time this season with 24 points as Manhattan (12-7, 5-2 MAAC) won its third straight MAAC game. Jaspers' sophomore Michael Alvarado dished out a career-high nine assists and senior Kidani Brutus had 14 points off the bench as Manhattan is off to its best MAAC start since 2005-06.
Siena (8-9, 3-4 MAAC) was led by junior forward OD Anosike who delivered a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Saints' senior Brandon Walters added 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting as Manhattan snapped Siena's three game win streak.
The Jaspers wore down a short handed Siena roster that suited up only nine active players. Manhattan played 14 guys with 11 finding their way into the scoring column. The Jaspers bench outscored Siena 34-8 and Manhattan turned Siena over 22 times.
Manhattan overcame a seven point first half deficit and did not trail after Beamon sent the Jaspers into the break with a 28-27 advantage after his second 3-pointer of the contest. Beamon scored 14 of his 24 points in the first half to offset a slow shooting start from the Jaspers who went 37.9% (11-29) from the field and only 4-for-16 from downtown.
Brutus knocked down three of his four 3-pointers in the second half and posted 12 of his 14 points in the final 20 minutes. In the second half, he helped Manhattan improved to a 50% (16-32) shooting mark and the Jaspers went 6-for-13 (46.2%) from beyond the arc.
After Walters tied the ballgame at 30-30 with 18:23 remaining the Jaspers made consecutive 8-0 runs to create separation from the Saints. Manhattan first run spanned only 33 seconds and featured a 3-point play by Beamon and then a 3-pointer by Brutus with 17:39 on the clock to put Manhattan on top 38-30.
Sophomore forward Rhamel Brown anchored the Jaspers next run by scoring six of the eight points during the 1:26 spurt. Brown finished with four rebounds and he swatted a game-high three shots in 13 minutes off the bench.
Manhattan claimed a double-digit lead it would hold on to the rest of the way with a 10-2 run that was capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from Brutus and freshman Ryan McCoy. McCoy buried his trey from the corner with 7:14 remaining to send the Jaspers ahead 56-40. He collected a career-high six rebounds in nine minutes of work.
The Jaspers led by as many as 24 points in the second half. Freshman forward Emmy Andujar contributed to Manhattan's all around effort with five points, five assists and three rebounds. Manhattan's defense held the Saints to just 33.3% (19-57) shooting and 22.2% (4-18) from downtown.
Manhattan looks to keep its hot streak going on Friday when the Jaspers travel to Marist. The contest with the Red Foxes will be the MAAC National Game of the Week that is available on ESPN3.com. Tip off is slated for 9 p.m.