Jaspers Edged at Dayton
DAYTON, Ohio - The Jaspers could not hold on to a three point lead with less than six minutes remaining as Manhattan fell 66-58 at Dayton (4-1) on Saturday. Senior guard George Beamon led the Jaspers in scoring for the second straight game with 19 points, his 50th consecutive appearance posting double-figures. The Flyers needed 20 points from senior guard Kevin Dillard and 19 more from junior guard Vee Sanford to fend off a feisty Manhattan (1-3) team before 11,482 fans at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio.
Dayton was the third straight 2012 postseason participant the Jaspers have met on the road this season. Coming off its first victory of the year against Hofstra on Wednesday, Manhattan left it all on the floor against the Flyers. The Jaspers forced 19 turnovers in a hostile road environment and withstood a 52.4% (22-42) shooting effort by the Flyers to keep it close down the stretch.
Manhattan delivered its best free-throw shooting performance this season (81.3%, 13-16) and top field goal mark on the road this year (45.2%, 19-42), but it was not enough to overcome a tough Atlantic 10 program. It was the Jaspers' 25 turnovers that Dayton converted into 24 points which made the difference.
The Flyers received a double-double from junior forward Devin Oliver (10 points, 12 rebounds) leading to the team's third straight victory. Sophomore forward Emmy Andujar scored 12 points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds for Manhattan. Junior teammate Michael Alvarado handed out four assists and scored five points in a limited 16 minutes of action due to foul trouble.
Dayton opened an 11-point lead nearly seven minutes into the game as the Flyers began the contest shooting 7-for-9 from the field. Sanford had the hot hand early, before running into foul trouble that sidelined him for 13 minutes in the first half. The 6'3" junior from Lexington, Ky. knocked down his first four shots, including two three-pointers. Sanford scored 10 points by 13:13 when he put the Flyers up 18-7 with a trey.
The Jaspers chipped their way back into the contest rallying behind Beamon who scored seven straight points during an 18-10 Manhattan surge. Sophomore guard Donovan Kates buried his second three-ball of the first half to pull within 28-27 at 2:17.
Dillard answered with a key three-pointer for the Flyers with 1:04 on the clock to send Dayton into the break with a 33-28 lead. Dillard and Sanford combined for 7-for-8 (87.5%) shooting and 19 points in the first half.
In the second half, Manhattan willed its way to take the lead for the first time since 18:13 in the opening stanza (4-2). The Jaspers cut Dayton's advantage to two points on four occasions before Andujar stepped up to hit a big three-pointer from the top of the key giving Manhattan a 47-46 edge with 7:26 remaining.
Beamon gave Manhattan a 51-48 lead with a jumper at the 5:55 mark. The 6'4" product of Roslyn, N.Y. had 10 of his 19 points in the second half.
One minute later, Dayton tied the game at 51-51 with Oliver's free-throw. Then a costly Jaspers turnover led to Dillard's second three-pointer to recapture a lead the Flyers' would not give up. Dayton shot 56.7% (17-30) from the free-throw line in the contest, but did not struggle in the last four minutes after Dillard's three. The Flyers hit eight of their last 10 free-throws to hold on.
Manhattan received the most production from its bench all season with the reserves outscoring Dayton's 13-2. Graduate student Roberto Colonette and Kates registered six points apiece.
The Jaspers are back in action on Thursday against archrival Fordham for the 105th "Battle of the Bronx". It will mark Manhattan's fourth road contest in the first five games, and second of three straight against Atlantic 10 opponents. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Rose Hill Gym on the Fordham campus. The game will be televised regionally on the YES Network.