Jaspers Open MAAC Tournament Against Monmouth
GAME #30 (MAAC Tournament, 1st Round):
#10 Manhattan Jaspers (8-21) vs. #7 Monmouth Hawks (14-15)
Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 11:30 AM
Albany, NY - Times Union Center (10,450)
Manhattan (8-21) opens the MAAC Tournament with a first-round matchup against Monmouth (14-15), with the winner moving on to face Rider in the quarterfinals. The Jaspers are the No. 10 seed, while the Hawks are seeded seventh. This is the third meeting in 15 days between the squads. Manhattan posted a 75-61 victory at the OceanFirst Bank Center on Feb. 16, while the Hawks earned a 63-50 win last Friday at Draddy Gymnasium. The Jaspers concluded the regular season with an 81-76 loss at Marist on Sunday, while Monmouth is coming off a 68-62 triumph over Niagara.
ABOUT THE JASPERS
The Jaspers (8-21) received the No. 10 seed in the MAAC Tournament after going 4-16 in conference play. Manhattan has lost each of its last three contests, including an 81-76 defeat at Marist on Sunday afternoon. Junior center Kayla Grimme was named MAAC Player of the Week after scoring a career-high 34 points in the Marist game. She earned Third Team All-MAAC honors after pacing the Jaspers with 14.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game during the regular season. Grimme also leads the MAAC with 2.0 blocks per contest. Junior guard Amani Tatum is the conference leader in both assists and steals. She averages 4.9 assists and 3.1 steals per outing to go along with 10.2 points a night. Junior center Mikki Guiton, meanwhile, adds 6.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Junior guard Nyasha Irizarry and senior guard Maeve Parahus both drain 1.4 three-pointers per contest to pace the squad.
ABOUT THE HAWKS
Monmouth (14-15) ended the season on a two-game winning streak to finish seventh in the MAAC with a 9-11 conference record. In their regular season finale, the Hawks posted a 68-62 victory over Niagara on Sunday. Freshman guard Kayla Shaw was a unanimous selection to the MAAC All-Rookie Team. She paces Monmouth with 11.6 points per game and drains a conference-high 3.0 three-pointers per contest. Shaw’s three-point percentage of .413 is also the best in the league. Senior guard Tyese Purvis contributes 10.2 points per outing and ranks fourth in the MAAC with 2.2 treys a night. As a team, the Hawks lead the conference in both three-pointers (8.9 per game) and three-point percentage (.335). Monmouth is the top rebounding team in the league (42.0 rpg), and senior forward Christina Mitchell pulls down 7.0 boards per contest. Freshman forward Taylor Nason adds 6.7 rebounds per outing, while freshman guard Alaina Jarnot hands out 3.2 assists a night.
The Jaspers and Hawks split the season series in 2016-17, with the visiting team winning each contest. Manhattan posted a 75-61 victory at the OceanFirst Bank Center on Feb. 16, while Monmouth took the rematch, 63-50, at Draddy Gymnasium on Feb. 24. Monmouth has won six of the last seven meetings between the teams and leads the all-time series 12-10. This is the first time that the Jaspers and Hawks have faced each other in the MAAC Tournament.
LAST TIME OUT
Kayla Grimme tied this season’s MAAC single-game best with a career-high 34 points in Manhattan’s 81-76 loss in the regular season finale at Marist on Sunday. She had 30 points in the second half alone, as the Jaspers rallied from a 32-25 halftime deficit to go up 48-46 after three quarters. The Red Foxes scored the first six points of the fourth quarter, however, and opened up a 61-53 advantage midway through the period. Manhattan got back within two at 66-64 before Marist responded with a 5-0 run to bring the margin back to seven in an eventual 81-76 victory. Taylor Williams finished one rebound shy of her first career double-double with 11 points and nine boards, while Mikki Guiton tallied 12 points. Amani Tatum and Nyasha Irizarry each added eight points and six assists.
Feb. 16-Manhattan 75, Monmouth 61 (OceanFirst Bank Center)
The Jaspers posted season-highs in points and field goal percentage en route to a 75-61 victory at Monmouth on Feb. 16. The Hawks led 20-15 at the end of the first quarter and extended their advantage to 24-17 early in the second. Manhattan responded with a 15-2 run, however, and the Jaspers opened up a 32-26 lead with 3:09 left before halftime. Manhattan took a 40-35 advantage into the locker room, then extended the margin to 61-52 entering the final period. The Jaspers used a 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to take their largest lead of the game, 73-54, and snapped their four-game skid with a 75-61 triumph. Kayla Grimme paced Manhattan with 25 points and six rebounds, while Amani Tatum finished with 11 points, eight assists and five steals. Taylor Williams and Nyasha Irizarry added nine points apiece.
Feb. 24-Monmouth 63, Manhattan 50 (Draddy Gymnasium)
The Jaspers concluded their home schedule with a 63-50 loss to Monmouth at Draddy Gymnasium on Feb. 24. Monmouth scored the first eight points of the contest and led 10-2 before Manhattan went on a 5-0 run to pull within three, 10-7. The Hawks led 14-7 after the first quarter and extended their cushion to 23-10 midway through the second period. Monmouth held a 30-19 advantage at halftime, then increased the margin to 53-34 at the end of the third quarter. The Hawks went up a game-high 21 points at 61-40 with 4:26 left before Manhattan ended the contest on a 10-2 spurt to make the final score 63-50. Kayla Grimme recorded 25 points to go along with five rebounds and three blocks. Nyasha Irizarry added nine points and five boards, while Taylor Williams grabbed a team-best six rebounds.
Manhattan is the No. 10 seed in the MAAC Tournament for the first time in program history, and this is also the Jaspers’ first-ever postseason meeting with Monmouth. The winner of today’s contest advances to the quarterfinals against No. 2 Rider (22-7) at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. After a day off on Saturday, the quarterfinal winner will play at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Monday’s championship game is set for 5 p.m. on ESPNU.