Manhattan Drops 69-68 Heartbreaker To Rider
Albany, NY - Junior Zavier Turner's (Indianapolis, IN / Ball State) apparent game-winning shot was ruled to have come after the final buzzer as No. 6 Rider edged past No. 11 Manhattan by a 69-68 count in the First Round of the MAAC Tournament at the Times Union Center.
On the previous possession, Jimmie Taylor hit a three to give the Broncs a 69-68 lead with 4.0 seconds remaining
Senior Tyler Wilson (Bronx, NY / Cardinal Hayes), who helped the Jaspers to a pair of MAAC Titles over his four years, played his final game and finished with 10 points. He also handed out one assist while moving past former teammate Michael Alvarado into sixth place on the Manhattan all-time assist list (364).
Freshman Aaron Walker Jr. (Brooklyn, NY / Cardozo) was incredible for the Jaspers, in recording 18 points, on 7-of-11 shooting, with a career-high four steals in just 21 minutes off the bench.
Trailing 55-45 with 8:18 to play in the second half, Wilson hit a running lay-up before Walker Jr. stole the ball on the ensuing possession and found a cutting Ahmed Ismail (Jr., Cairo, Egypt / Colby CC) for an easy two while forcing a Rider timeout.
The stoppage did nothing to quell the Jasper momentum as Wilson grabbed a rebound on the ensuing possession and Walker Jr. canned a jumper before splitting a pair at the the line. The Broncs briefly answered as Norville Carey split a pair at the line as Zane Waterman (Jr., Winston-Salem, NC / Fayetteville Academy) quickly followed with a layup to cap a 9-1 spurt in making it a two-point game with 5:56 remaining.
Kahlil Thomas responded with a dunk off a broken play only to see Walker Jr. immediately answer with another big bucket. Sophomore Thomas Capuano (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY / Iona Prep) then forced one of his career-high six steals and Waterman hit a jumper to tie it up at 58-58 with 4:27 remaining.
After Carey briefly reclaimed the lead for Rider, Turner drained a rainbow three to give Manhattan its first lead of the game since the opening minutes at 61-60 with 3:50 to play.
The Jasper advantage would grow to 65-62 with 2:07 to play as Calvin Crawford (Middletown, NY / St. Thomas More (CT)) canned a triple of his own before Capuano split a pair from the line.
Rider would continue to fight back and tied it up at 66-66 with just over one minute remaining with a Thomas lay-up. Walker Jr. would briefly reclaim the lead for Manhattan with a jumper before Taylor's aforementioned heroics clinched the win.
All told, over the final 8:01, the Jaspers converted on 9-of-11 to end the game - including eight straight at one point - while scoring on 12 of the last 14 possessions
For the game, Manhattan forced 17 miscues that led to an 18-4 advantage in points off turnovers while recording 13 steals.
The Jaspers also shot 43.4 percent (23-of-53) from the field, including 53.8 percent (14-of-26) in the second half, and 81.8 percent (18-of-22) from the line.
Waterman scored 15 points while Turner added 11 while Capuano finished up with six steals, five points and five rebounds to round out the top performers for Manhattan (10-22).
Taylor paced four double-digit performers for Rider (18-14) with 16 points while Carey had 12 points and eight rebounds.