Manhattan Falls at Harvard
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Lavietes Pavilion has not been a friendly place for opposing teams over the last two years. The Manhattan men's basketball team experienced that first-hand on Friday when the Jaspers dropped a 79-45 decision at Harvard (2-1), the two-time defending Ivy League champions. Harvard had five players score in double-figures as the Crimson won their 30th game out of the last 31 on their home court dating back to February 2010.
Harvard junior guard Laurent Rivard scored 12 of his game-high 17 points in the first half. He buried five three-pointers anchoring a superb shooting performance by the Crimson that knocked down 54.3% (25-46) of its field goal attempts and 50% (8-16) beyond the arc.
Manhattan (0-2) was without senior guard George Beamon who missed the second straight game with an injury. Beamon led the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in scoring last year with 19.0 points per game. Jaspers' sophomore Emmy Andujar led the squad with 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting.
The Crimson jumped out to an 11-2 lead, forcing Manhattan to play catch up the rest of the way. The Crimson built their first half advantage as large as 24 points thanks in part to good free-throw shooting (12-15) and Rivard's four 3-pointers in the stanza.
Early foul trouble also contributed to the Jaspers' large first half deficit. Junior forward Rhamel Brown spent the final 17:42 of the half on the bench after picking up two quick fouls. A total of 13 fouls were called on the Jaspers in the opening 20 minutes making another Preseason All-MAAC selection, junior point guard Michael Alvarado, see limited action as well
The Crimson capitalized on the Jaspers' 15 first half turnovers, which resulted in 21 points. Freshman forward Agunwa Okolie gave Harvard production off the bench scoring all five of his points in the final four minutes to put the Crimson ahead 39-17 at the break.
Manhattan couldn't find a rhythm in the second half against a team that ranked fourth in the NCAA for points per game allowed (55.6 ppg) last season. The Crimson opened a 30-point lead at 14:34 with Rivard's fifth trey and maintained the margin the rest of the way.
Sophomore guard RaShawn Stores was the only other Jasper to score in double figures, finishing with 11 points. Alvarado added nine points, while senior forward Roberto Colonette and sophomore forward Donovan Kates chipped in five points apiece.
Harvard got 14 points out of freshman guard Siyani Chambers. Christian Webster (12), Agunwa Okollie (11) and Wesley Saunders (10) rounded out the Crimson double-figure scorers.
The Jaspers look to bounce back on Wednesday in the squad's home opener with Hofstra. Tip off is slated for 7 p.m. at Draddy Gymnasium.