Manhattan Storms Past Siena
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Manhattan delivered its top all-around performance of the season Sunday rolling past Siena (2-9, 0-2 MAAC) 75-55 at Draddy Gymnasium. Four Jaspers scored in double-figures with junior forward Rhamel Brown going off for a career-high 21 points on 9-for-12 shooting as Manhattan (3-5, 1-1 MAAC) improved to 2-0 at home this season.
"I thought we came out and competed for 40 minutes on the defensive end, which I am more proud of than anything. I thought we showed what our identity is tonight," said Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello. "When we defend well our offensive numbers are off the chart."
Sophomore guard RaShawn Stores helped Brown power a Manhattan bench that contributed 35 of the Jaspers' season-high 75 points. He reached career-highs with 12 points and six assists, while pulling down five rebounds in 24 minutes of action.
Stores anchored the Jaspers' best shooting performance of the year (45.8%, 27-59) going a perfect 4-for-4 from downtown. Manhattan knocked down a season-high nine three-pointers against Siena's stingy defense that entered the game 29th nationally with a 26.2% three-point field goal defense.
Emmy Andujar powered Manhattan out of the gate as he sank his first three shots scoring seven points in the first 6:10 to open a 12-7 advantage. Brown then scored eight points over an 18-5 surge to open the Jaspers' largest lead of the first half (13).
Brown, a 6'7", 230-pound forward from Brooklyn, converted his fourth straight field goal attempt after a smooth behind the back pass from sophomore guard Mark Jackson. Jackson's key defensive rebound on the ensuing possession led to a fast break layup by junior guard Michael Alvarado that gave Manhattan a 22-9 lead with 9:37 left in the first half.
Manhattan was up by seven points at halftime with a season-high 38 first half points. Brown had 14 at the break and was 6-for-7 from the field.
The Saints scored the first six points of the second half and held the Jaspers scoreless for five minutes to pull within two points. Alvarado answered with a steal and layup on a play that ignited Manhattan's 12-2 game-breaking run.
The offensive flurry was capped by back-to-back threes from freshman forward Shane Richards, sending the Jaspers out front 50-38 with 11:02 remaining. Richards buried all three of his treys in the second half to finish his career outing with nine points.
The Jaspers led by as many as 22-points late in the game. Alvarado scored six of his 10 points in the second half to record his fifth double-digit point performance in eight games this season.
Siena was led by senior forward O.D. Anosike who had a double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds) after shooting 7-for-11 from the field. Saints' red-shirt sophomore guard Rakeem Brookins scored a team-high 19 points, but was responsible for seven of the Saints' 16 turnovers.
Manhattan handled the ball well giving up only 10 turnovers and dishing out 18 assists, which were tops for the team this season. The Jaspers also swiped 10 steals and recorded 18 points off the turnovers they forced.
The Jaspers are off for the next week as they return to action Sunday at Long Island. The Blackbirds are the two-time defending Northeast Conference champion. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Brooklyn.