LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – George Beamon and Michael Alvarado scored 17 points apiece to lift Manhattan (4-4, 1-0 MAAC) to a 71-55 victory over Rider on Friday. Jaspers’ forward Rhamel Brown delivered a monstrous effort off the bench filling the stat sheet with nine points, 12 rebounds and five blocks as Manhattan earned its first win at Rider (1-7, 0-1 MAAC) in nearly nine years.
The Jaspers previous victory at hostile Alumni Gymnasium dates back to first year head coach Steve Masiello‘s term as an assistant on the Manhattan staff. On Jan. 16, 2003, Luis Flores ’04 exploded for 23 points as Manhattan rolled to a 76-66 triumph.
This time Manhattan needed an all around effort with eight players getting in the scoring column and the Jaspers’ bench outscoring the Broncs 26-6. Jaspers’ senior guard Kidani Brutus erupted for seven of his nine points in the second half to help anchor the bench production.
The Jaspers found their shooting stroke from 3-point territory in the second half, after coming up empty in all eight shot attempts from beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes. In a game that featured 12 ties and nine lead changes, Manhattan made its key surge with 6:41 remaining using string of back-to-back-to-back 3s. Brown then capped the 12-2 run with a clutch 3-point play at 2:55 to send Manhattan ahead 57-44.
Manhattan went 5-for-9 (55.6%) from 3-point territory in the second half and converted a season best 20-of-24 (83.3%) free-throws in the contest. The Jaspers also dominated the boards outrebounding Rider 40-26 as Manhattan also capitalized on 14 second chance points.
Brown made his presence in the paint felt in the first half with three blocks to contribute to a superb defensive effort that propelled Manhattan into intermission with a 26-25 edge. The Jaspers defensive pressure limited Rider to only 26.9% (7-26) from the field and 1-for-15 (6.7%) beyond the arc in the opening stanza.
Manhattan trailed for only 13 seconds in the second half after Broncs’ senior guard Jeff Jones buried a 3-pointer with 15:18 on the clock to send Rider ahead 35-33. Beamon responded immediately for the Jaspers tying the game for the 12th time with a layup to lock it at 35-35.
The Jaspers took control of the game’s tempo during the ensuing minutes and outscored Rider 8-2 over the next five minutes. Senior guard Liam McCabe-Moran started the surge with a 3-pointer in front of the Manhattan bench to break the tie (38-35), and then with 9:23 on the clock Alvarado buried another trey to send the Jaspers ahead by six (43-37).
Rider wouldn’t go away easy as sophomore Daniel Steward made it a one possession game with a thunderous dunk in transition to bring the Broncs within 45-42 at 7:05. But it was only 24 seconds later that the Jaspers’ answered with Brutus’ big 3-pointer, which was followed by Alvarado’s trey and then Beamon’s three to open the floodgates.
Stewart finished with 10 points and he was 5-for-6 from the field. Broncs’ senior forward Novar Gadson led Rider with 16 points and six rebounds. Junior guard Jonathon Thompson dished out a game-high seven assists for Rider.
Jaspers’ freshman Emmy Andujar contributed seven points, four rebounds and two steals in 24 minutes of action. McCabe-Moran had six points and three rebounds over 16 minutes off the bench.
Manhattan returns to Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action on Sunday when the Jaspers host defending champs Saint Peter’s. Tip off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Draddy Gymnasium.