Manhattan’s Eight Game Win Streak Snapped by Iona
RIVERDALE., N.Y. - Manhattan had its eight-game win streak snapped on Saturday night as the Jaspers fell 85-73 to Iona (19-5, 11-2 MAAC) before a sellout crowd at Draddy Gymnasium. Junior guard George Beamon posted a game-high 26 points and became the 33rd player to join Manhattan's 1,000-point club. Four Gaels scored in double-figures, including 19 points from senior forward Mike Glover and 18 apiece from guards Scott Machado and Lamont Jones as Manhattan (17-8, 10-3 MAAC) suffered its first loss since Jan. 5.
The crowd was electric in Draddy Gymnasium resembling the scene during the 2005-2006 regular-season finale when the Jaspers defeated Iona 78-74 to capture the MAAC Regular-Season Championship. This time it was Iona that came out on top by shooting 53.3% (16-30) from the field against the MAAC's premier defense. The Gaels hit 53.3% of its attempts in the first half and barely slowed down exploiting the Manhattan defense that entered the contest ranked 22nd nationally by limiting opponents to a 39.1% field goal mark.
Manhattan rallied behind Beamon's 19 first half points and did its best to keep up with Iona's high octane offense that ranks in the top-5 of NCAA Division I averaging 83 points per game. Beamon quickly poured in the 14 points he needed only 10:49 into the contest to become the first Jasper since Antoine Pearson (2006-10) to reach the 1,000-point plateau doing it in only 77 career games. Beamon hit the milestone on his third three-pointer of the half to give Manhattan a 23-20 advantage.
The first 16 minutes of action featured 11 ties and seven lead changes before the Gaels closed the final four minutes with a 9-0 run to carry a 44-38 advantage into halftime. Manhattan shot 48.3% (14-29) in the first half courtesy of Beamon's 7-for-8 hot shooting effort.
Iona picked up where it left off in the opening three minutes of the second half as it scored the first seven points to extend its run to 16-0 taking a 51-38 lead at 17:40 after a layup by Glover. Out of a timeout, the resilient Jaspers answered back with an 8-0 run of their own to pull within five points after back-to-back three-pointers from senior guards Kidani Brutus and Liam McCabe-Moran.
Glover almost single handedly rebuilt the Gaels lead to double-figures as he sparked an 11-0 run with a three-point play at 14:30. He scored seven of the 11 points and Randy Dezouvre knocked down a pair of free-throws at 12:13 to put the finishing touches on the spurt that sent Iona ahead 62-46.
Iona hit 48% of its field goal attempts in the second half to maintain its double-digit advantage down the stretch. The Jaspers shooting cooled off in the final 20 minutes as Beamon was locked down by the Gaels after his superb first half. Manhattan shot 34.2% in the stanza, including a 4-for-16 (25%) three-point field goal mark. Beamon was 1-for-7 in the second half.
Beamon led the Jaspers on the glass with a game-high eight rebounds, to go along with his sixth 20-point effort of the season. He also led the Jaspers shooting a perfect 7-for-7 at the free-throw line. Brutus contributed 12 points all coming on three-pointers. Jaspers' freshman forward Emmy Andujar had a solid all around performance finishing with seven points, six assists and five rebounds.
The Gaels got 14 points off the bench from Sean Armand. Machado finished one assist shy of a double-double and he grabbed four rebounds in a 5-for-7 shooting effort.
Manhattan looks to bounce back on Thursday when the Jaspers visit Fairfield. Tip off is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn.