Men's Hoops Opens Season with Thrilling 2OT Win at La Salle
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - If this is how the rest of the Manhattan College basketball season will be, it will be a fun ride.
In a seesaw game that lasted more than two and a half hours, Manhattan defeated La Salle 99-90 in double overtime on a day in which the Explorers unveiled their Sweet 16 banner from last year.
In front of a sellout crowd, the game began as a defensive struggle. La Salle led Manhattan 9-3 at the 11:55 mark after two free throws by Tyrone Garland, who led the Explorers with 28 points. The Jaspers clawed back into the game after that point, tying the game at 27 on a three-pointer by George Beamon. Another Beamon three brought the Jaspers within a point with 40 seconds left in the half as La Salle led 32-30 at halftime.
La Salle held a 37-34 lead with 18 minutes left but a basket by Ashton Pankey and a triple by RaShawn Stores gave Manhattan a 39-37 lead, its first since the opening minutes of the contest.
The Jaspers extended their lead to 50-42 when Stores found Shane Richards in transition for his second of three three-pointers in the second half. Manhattan still held a 66-58 advantage with 6:26 remaining on a Michael Alvarado jumper and opened up a 10-point lead when Stores buried a three-pointer from the top of the key to make it a 70-60 game.
With Manhattan in front 73-65 with 2:24 left, Garland nailed a triple and Sam Mills followed with two free throws to make it a three-point game. Having controlled the glass all day, the Jaspers had three chances to make it a two-possession game but were unable to convert. That allowed Garland to hit a tying three-pointer with 8.8 seconds left, sending the game into overtime.
In the first overtime, La Salle led 80-77 with 40 seconds left before Emmy Andujar came up with a huge steal in the backcourt, then converted a layup and got fouled. Andujar missed the ensuing free throw, but the Jaspers only trailed by a point. After Tyreek Duren made one of two foul shots on the other end, Rhamel Brown's putback with five seconds left tied the game at 81-81.
On the next possession, Duren drove to his right and appeared to have an open look but Brown came from the weak side to block his shot and send the game into the second overtime. This time, the Jaspers had the momentum.
A Garland jumper put La Salle in front 86-85 with three minutes left, On Manhattan's next possession, Alvarado sank a clutch three-pointer from the top of the key that put the Jaspers ahead to stay. Beamon made six of six free throws down the stretch as the Jaspers made nine of ten foul shots in the final two minutes to ice the victory.
“This is a huge win for our program, and I am very proud of our guys,” head coach Steve Masiello said after the game. "It was a great win for Manhattan College.”
Five different Jaspers scored in double figures, led by George Beamon's 24 points and eight rebounds. Michael Alvarado had 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists, Emmy Andujar and Rhamel Brown scored 14 points apiece and Shane Richards finished with 13.
Manhattan is back in action on Tuesday, November 12 when the Jaspers will take the 1 train down to Columbia for a 7 p.m. game.
Manhattan is now 73-35 all-time in season openers ... it was the Jaspers' eighth win over the Explorers in 46 meetings ... Manhattan last defeated La Salle in 1992 ... the Jaspers outrebounded La Salle 51-33 and 24-14 on the offensive glass ... six different players combined to make 12 three-pointers ... Emmy Andujar finished with a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) ... it was his fourth career double-double ... George Beamon's 24 points now give him 1,302 in his career, passing GoJaspers.com's Brian Mahoney '71, who recorded 1,289 points during his heralded career ... Rhamel Brown finished with eight rebounds and five blocked shots ... he now has 252 career blocked shots to add to his Manhattan career mark ... RaShawn Stores dished out five assists with just one turnover in 28 minutes ... Manhattan held La Salle to 31.3 percent shooting in the two overtimes ... the Jaspers outscored the Explorers 20-9 on second chance points ... Manhattan's bench outscored the La Salle bench 31-9 ... there were a number of Manhattan alumni and students in the crowd that made the two-hour trip to Philadelphia.