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CJ Jones scores clutch buckets to help Manhattan defeat Saint Peter's 55-53

Manhattan Grinds out Win at Saint Peterís

Courtesy: Manhattan Athletics Department
Release: 01/04/2013
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JERSEY CITY, N.J. -
Shane Richards buried four three-pointers, finishing with a game-high 16 points to help lead Manhattan (4-9, 2-1 MAAC) to a 55-53 victory at Saint Peter's (6-7, 1-2 MAAC) on Friday. Jaspers' junior forward Rhamel Brown contributed 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting and corralled a team-high six rebounds earning the triumph without injured All-MAAC guards George Beamon and Michael Alvarado.

The Jaspers made a game winning defensive stop on the final possession to secure their second straight conference win. Brown blocked red-shirt sophomore guard Desi Washington's mid-range jumper with seven seconds remaining, but the ball bounced out of bounds off Manhattan in a scramble giving the Peacocks one last attempt.

Saint Peter's got the ball back to Washington on the final play with 4.7 seconds remaining as he launched a deep three-pointer that was off the mark. Washington was the only Saint Peter's player to score double-figures with 15 points.

Manhattan received key contributions from its starting backcourt in senior Mohamed Koita and sophomore RaShawn Stores. The duo combined for five three-pointers as Koita finished with 10 points and Stores added nine.

Freshman point guard CJ Jones also stepped up for the Jaspers at both ends of the court in the clutch. Jones made back-to-back layups with five minutes remaining to give Manhattan a five point cushion. On the defensive end, he smothered the Peacocks guards forcing multiple turnovers in the backcourt.

Koita kicked off the ballgame with a four-point play, and the Jaspers hit four more three-pointers in the first half to keep pace with the Peacocks. The Jaspers rallied for nine straight points to erase a five point deficit, and used graduate student Roberto Colonette's three point play at 3:38 in the first half to go up 25-21.

The Peacocks countered with consecutive threes from Washington and freshman guard Chazz Patterson making it a 27-27 contest at halftime. Washington had eight points and knocked down two of his three treys before intermission.

Saint Peter's scored the first six points of the second half extending a 12-2 run that it carried into the second stanza. Senior guard Blaise Ffrench had a layup, Washington sank a three and senior forward Darius Conley hit a free-throw giving Saint Peter's its largest lead (33-27) of the game with 16:27 remaining.

Richards ended the Jaspers' seven minute drought without a field goal when he sank a three from the corner at 16:01. Eight minutes later, the freshman from New York City came up with more key baskets. He scored five of eight straight points by the Jaspers capping the spurt with two free-throws that put Manhattan on top 44-41 at 8:51.

Manhattan received the fourth three-pointer from Richards with seven minutes remaining. Then it was Jones layups that opened a 53-48 lead with 4:57 left. Brown scored the Jaspers final bucket with 3:48 on the clock, which proved to be enough offense with Manhattan's defensive intensity.

It was the fourth straight game Brown scored in double-figures. He also swatted two shots in 27 minutes of work. Stores dished out a team-high four assists and grabbed four rebounds.

The Jaspers return to action on Sunday when they visit Iona. Manhattan is responsible for the Gaels only home loss in the last two seasons winning 75-72 on a buzzer beater by Emmy Andujar last year. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. at the Hynes Athletic Center.

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