Manhattan-Robert Morrs Game Notes
Game 32 (WBI 1st Round): Robert Morris (18-13) vs. Manhattan (16-15)Wednesday, March 14, 2012-7 p.m.Riverdale, N.Y.-Draddy Gymnasium (2,345) Live Video: JasperVisionLive Audio: www.gojaspers.com, www.rmucolonials.com
Eighth-seeded Manhattan (16-15) hosts Robert Morris (18-13), the top seed in the East Region, tonight at Draddy Gymnasium in the first round of the 2012 Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI). The Jaspers, who are making their second straight WBI appearance, finished third in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) this season, while the Colonials were fourth in the Northeast Conference (NEC). Manhattan is coming off a 34-33 loss to Siena in the MAAC quarterfinals. In its last game, Robert Morris dropped a 61-56 decision against Sacred Heart in the NEC semifinals.
THE MANHATTAN JASPERS
The Jaspers (16-15) enter the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) for the as the No. 8 seed in the East Region. This is Manhattan's second straight WBI appearance. Manhattan, which has dropped two straight for the first time since late January, is coming off a 34-33 loss to Siena in the quarterfinals of the MAAC Tournament on March 2. Senior forward Lindsey Loutsenhizer, a Second Team All-MAAC selection, leads the Jaspers in scoring (11.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.0 ppg). She also averages team-highs in assists (2.5 apg) and steals (2.2 spg). Senior guard/forward Schyanne Halfkenny was named to the All-MAAC Third Team. She ranks second on the team in scoring with an average of 10.9 points per game. Halfkenny also pulls down 4.8 rebounds per contest. Senior forward Nadia Peters also grabs 4.8 boards per outing to go along with 2.1 steals and a team-leading 1.1 blocks per game.
THE ROBERT MORRIS COLONIALS
Robert Morris (18-13) earned the No. 1 seed in the WBI's East Region after finishing fourth in the Northeast Conference. The Colonials were beaten by Sacred Heart, 61-56, in the NEC semifinals on March 6. Sophomore forward Artemis Spanou, a First Team All-NEC selection, is averaging a double-double on the season. Spanou tallies 17.0 points per game, and her 10.8 rebounds an outing are 11th most in the nation. She also ranks third in the nation with 20 double-doubles. Senior forward Mary Durojaye contributes 12.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, while junior guard Briannica Tye tallies 12.8 points per outing to go along with a team-leading 5.2 assists and 2.4 steals per game. Junior guard April Williams sinks a team-high 2.0 three-pointers per contest. Junior forward Anna Gailite leads the team with 1.2 blocks per outing, while junior guard Josette Campbell posts 1.1 blocks a night. As a team, the Colonials average 68.4 points per game.
Manhattan has never faced Robert Morris in women's basketball. However, the Colonials are the fourth Northeast Conference team Manhattan has seen this season, and the Jaspers are 3-0 against the NEC in 2011-12. Robert Morris is Manhattan's third first-time opponent of the season. The Jaspers fell to McNeese State and beat East Tennessee State in the Preseason WNIT.
LAST TIME OUT
After trailing by 13 points with 8:40 remaining, Manhattan had the ball and a chance to win with 13 seconds left against Siena in the quarterfinals of the MAAC Tournament. However, Maggie Blair's three-point attempt was off the mark and the Saints grabbed the rebound to secure a 34-33 victory at the MassMutual Center on March 2. It was the lowest-scoring game in MAAC Tournament history. The Jaspers trailed 20-13 at halftime and were down 34-21 at the 8:40 mark before holding the Saints scoreless the rest of the way. Manhattan rallied for 11 straight points to get within one, 34-33, with 1:46 left. Schyanne Halfkenny finished with 10 points, including seven during the Jaspers' late-game run, while Lindsey Loutsehizer notched 10 points and a team-high five boards.
The Jaspers are making their second consecutive postseason appearance, and the sixth national postseason appearance in program history. Manhattan has played in the NCAA Tournament four times, most recently in 2003, when it lost to Mississippi State in Albuquerque, N.M. The Jaspers also participated in the WBI last season, knocking off Sacred Heart and Wright State before falling to eventual champion UAB in the semifinals. The two victories in last year's WBI were the first national postseason wins in program history. The Jaspers have also played in the ECAC Tournament twice (1982, 1983), winning a game each time.
MANHATTAN IN THE WBI
Manhattan is playing in the WBI for the second consecutive season. The Jaspers reached the semifinals of the 2011 event, knocking off Sacred Heart 52-48 in the first round at Draddy Gymnasium, then posting a 75-73 quarterfinal victory at Wright State. In the semifinals, Manhattan dropped a 62-43 decision to eventual champion UAB. Lindsey Loutsenhizer was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging a double-double (16.0 ppg, 11.3 rpg) in the three games.
The winner of tonight's matchup will face either fourth-seeded Holy Cross or fifth-seeded New Hampshire in the quarterfinals this weekend. That game will be played on the campus of the higher-seeded team on either Saturday or Sunday. The bottom half of the East Region includes Minnesota, Charleston Southern, Bradley and Tennessee Tech.