Game 34: Manhattan (21-12) vs. Fairfield (20-14)
2012 CollegeInsider.com Tournament
Sunday, March 18, 2012 at 4 p.m.
Alumni Hall (2,479) - Fairfield, Conn.
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Manhattan (21-12, 12-6 MAAC)
Manhattan enters the Second Round of the 2012 CollegeInsider.com Tournament with a 21-12 overall record, the Jaspers best mark since winning 25 games in 2003-04. It is only the 11th time in Manhattan's 106-year basketball history that the program has seen a 20-win campaign. The Jaspers finished third in the MAAC with a 12-6 record.
Jaspers' first year head coach Steve Masiello has orchestrated the biggest turnaround in NCAA Division I by posting 15 more wins than last season with a team coming off a 6-25 overall record and last place finish in the MAAC. Masiello implemented a hard-nosed, high energy style that has transformed Manhattan into one of the premier defensive teams in the conference.
Manhattan led the MAAC in several defensive categories, including field goal defense (40.5%), 3-point field goal defense (33.3%) and blocked shots (4.9 bpg). On the offensive side of the court, the Jaspers were one of the top three teams in free-throw percentage (73.1%), 3-point field goal percentage (36.5%) and scoring offense (71.6 ppg).
Jaspers' junior George Beamon leads the MAAC in scoring averaging 19.1 points. The 6'4" guard was even better in conference games with 19.6 points per game. He also leads Manhattan in steals (48) and rebounding (5.6 rpg), and stands in the top-10 of the MAAC in 3-point field goal percentage (43.3%), steals (1.5 spg) and free-throw percentage (80.3%). Beamon earned a spot on the 2012 All-MAAC First Team
Sophomore forward Rhamel Brown became the first Jasper to earn the MAAC Defensive Player of the Year award. Brown set a program single season record with 82 blocks and he ranks 18th in NCAA Division I with 2.5 blocks per game.
Manhattan freshman forward Emmy Andujar garnered MAAC All-Rookie Team honors. Andujar started 31 of 32 appearances and he filled the stat sheet with 8.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Sophomore point guard Michael Alvarado was an All-MAAC Third Team honoree leading the Jaspers and ranking sixth in the MAAC with 3.2 assists per game, going along with an 8.5 scoring average.
Fairfield (20-14, 12-6 MAAC)
Fairfield picked up its 20th victory of the season on Wednesday with a 68-56 win over Yale in the Opening Round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Junior guard Colin Nickerson scored a career-high 22 points and senior forward Rakim Sanders finished with 21 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Stags tied Manhattan with a 12-6 record in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and advanced to the MAAC Tournament Championship game. Fairfield led the MAAC in scoring defense yielding only 61.1 points per contest, while ranking just behind Manhattan atop the MAAC in field goal percentage defense (41.0%) and 3-point field goal defense (34.5%).
Sanders, a 6'5" 228-pound forward, was named to the All-MAAC First Team and is averaging a team-high 16.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per contest. The transfer from Boston College has a 50.1% field goal shooting percentage, which is seventh in the conference.
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