|Manhattan Rolls Past UNCW|
Jaspers' junior guard Mohamed Koita also enjoyed a career day by scoring 11 points to go along with his season-high six rebounds in 19 minutes of work. Manhattan outshot UNCW 45.3% (24-53) to 35.1% (20-57) and the Jaspers knocked down 24-of-30 (80%) free-throw attempts in the program's fourth straight BracketBuster victory.
The Seahawks received a team-high 21 points from junior forward Keith Rendleman. Rendleman matched Andujar with a game-high eight rebounds. UNCW freshman guard Adam Smith was the only other Seahawk to post double-figures with 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting.
Manhattan scored seven straight points to break an 18-18 tie in the first half which helped propel the Jaspers into intermission with a six point lead. The Jaspers made their move after Seahawks' freshman guard Freddie Jackson tied the ballgame for the sixth time with a jumper at 6:21. On the ensuing possession, Andujar converted a layup and then Beamon scored the next five points as Manhattan took a lead (25-18) it would not relinquish.
Beamon (17.9 ppg), the second leading scorer in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), posted double-figures for the 43rd straight contest with 10 points by halftime to lead the Jaspers into the break with a 34-28 advantage. Senior forward Roberto Colonette was also effective for the Jaspers in the first half by scoring all six of his points in the stanza.
Manhattan pounced on UNCW out of intermission as the Jaspers outscored the Seahawks 19-6 in the first 6:40 to build its largest lead of the ballgame. Beamon scored eight points to anchor the scoring flurry and Andujar capitalized on an offensive rebound with the put back to send Manhattan on top 53-34 with 13:20 remaining.
The Seahawks used the next three minutes to swing momentum back to their side quickly closing the gap by scoring the next 12 points. Jackson's layup at 10:32 brought the Jaspers lead down to 53-46. UNCW got as close as six points before Manhattan made its final surge.
Koita set the tone for the Jaspers last run when he skied high above the rim for a highlight reel one-handed jam that put Manhattan ahead 60-50 with 8:01 to go. The throw-down sparked a 19-9 run that also featured two 3-pointers from Andujar who finished 3-for-4 from downtown.
Senior guard Kidani Brutus was a key off the Manhattan bench by scoring seven points and dishing out a game-high five assists. Jaspers' forward Rhamel Brown complemented Brutus with eight points shooting 3-for-3 from the field, going along with two blocks and two steals in a limited 12 minutes due to foul trouble.
UNCW struggled from beyond the arc against the MAAC's top 3-point defensive team that has limited opponents to a 33.4% 3-point field goal mark. The Seahawks went 1-for-15 from 3-point territory to Manhattan's 41.2% (7-17) effort from downtown.
Manhattan will have a five day break to tune up for its final two games of the regular-season. The Jaspers host Canisius on Friday and then will play their final game at Draddy Gymnasium on Sunday against Loyola.