Siena sweep, Bracketbusters, Mid-Season report card and the MAAC Press Break

O.D. Anosike leads the nation in rebounding (12.9) and double-doubles (17). His streak of 17 straight double-doubles ties Tim Duncan's as the second longest in Division I over the last 15 seasons. (Photo courtesy of MAAC athletics)

All the comings and goings of Metro Atlantic Athletic men’s basketball.

Saints sweep weekly honors

OD Anosike, Siena, Jr., F, 6-8, 232, Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter’s Boys

Anosike averaged 20 points, 15 rebounds and shot 59% from the field in three MAAC games this past week. He scored 17 points and added 15 rebounds in the Saints’ 65-62 home win over first-place Iona. In Siena’s win over Marist, Anosike had 21 points and 12 rebounds in 37 minutes. He completed the week with a monster effort in the Saints’ hard-fought loss at Rider, scoring 22 points and adding 16 rebounds. Anosike leads the nation in rebounding (12.9) and double-doubles (17). His streak of 17 straight double-doubles ties Tim Duncan’s as the second longest in Division I over the last 15 seasons.

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MAAC Matchups for 2012 Sears Bracketbusters

Edison, N.J. Nine of the 10 MAAC men’s basketball programs have received their pairings for the 10th annual Sears BracketBusters – a two-day men’s basketball event pitting potential NCAA Championship hopefuls against each other February 17-18.

For the seventh straight year, ESPNU will feature five Sears BracketBusters games, while ESPN or ESPN2 will televise up to six and ESPN3 will carry two. The television matchups are selected by ESPN, while a Committee of Conference Commissioners determines the additional non-televised games.

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In NCAA “Bracketbuster” games, both Iona and Manhattan have tall orders

Iona will have its hands full with a Wolf Pack team that currently owns an18-3 mark and 7-0 in the Western Athletic Conference and has won 15 games in a row through last Saturday.

The Pack boasts a frontline of 6-7 senior Olek Czyz (12.1 points a game), 6-8 Dario Hunt (10 points, team-best 9 rebounds) and 6-8 Jerry Evans (6.3 points, 5.0 rebounds). The Wolf Pack’s two leading scorers, however, are 6-1 sophomore guard Deonte Burton (15.5 points) and 6-5 junior Malik Story (14.6 points, 59 threes).

Bracketbusters players to watch
Machado made the Wooden Award’s midseason list. But he might not be the most important player on his team. That honor might belong to Glover, a 6-7 forward with 10 double-doubles this season. He’s averaging 18.8 ppg and 9.0 rpg. The Wolf Pack should be concerned.

Depth lifts Loyola (MD.) to win at Canisius

BUFFALOLoyola University Maryland held Canisius College scoreless for the final 8-minutes, 2-seconds of the second half and pulled away from the Golden Griffins in the second for a 70-52 victory Sunday afternoon in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.

The victory, coupled with a win Friday night at Niagara University, gave the Greyhounds (16-5 overall, 9-2 MAAC) their first-ever road sweep of the Buffalo-area schools since joining the league in 1989-1990.

“Last night, I went to the Buffalo symphony where they have a great conductor, Joann Falletta, and that is what we talked about before the game,” Head Coach Jimmy Patsos said following the win. “I told them that it is the whole orchestra that matters, not just one instrument. Our depth is why we won both games up here.

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Beamon drops 33 in Manhattan win

BUFFALO, N.Y. George Beamon exploded for a season-high 33 points as Manhattan (15-7, 8-2 MAAC) rolled past Canisius 78-66 in Buffalo for the Jaspers’ sixth straight win. Sophomore forward Rhamel Brown powered the Jaspers’ bench with 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting, he grabbed seven rebounds and blocked three shots helping Manhattan knock off Canisius (4-16, 1-9 MAAC) for the fifth time in their last six meetings at the Koessler Athletic Center.

Beamon took over the second half scoring 24 points on 10-for-14 shooting while pulling down five of his team-high eight rebounds in the final 20 minutes. The junior guard ignited a 14-2 run in the opening five minutes of the stanza to regain the Jaspers first lead since the 17 minute mark in the first half. Manhattan never looked back.

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Rider takes care of Siena, 83-72

LAWRENCEVILLE– For the third time this season the Broncs faced a team that they had lost to earlier this year, and for the third time the Broncs avenged the loss. “We have a saying in our program, ‘no sweeps,’ and it was written on the board before the game today,” said Rider head coach Tommy Dempsey. “Sweeps really hurt you, mentally as well as with the tie-breakers.”

Senior Jeff Jones (Chester, PA/Monsignor Bonner) scored 18 points and four other Broncs scored in double figures to lead Rider to a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory over Siena Sunday afternoon, avoiding the sweep.

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Manhattan knocks off Niagara for 5th straight win

RIVERDALE, N.Y. George Beamon matched a season-high 24 points to help propel the Manhattan men’s basketball team to its fifth straight win with a 71-64 victory over Niagara (9-12, 4-5 MAAC) on Sunday at Draddy Gymnasium. Sophomore point guard Michael Alvarado scored 13 points going 11-for-12 from the charity stripe to anchor a superb free-throw shooting effort for the Jaspers who knocked down 83.3% (25-30) of their attempts. Manhattan (14-7, 7-2 MAAC) got 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds from freshman Donovan Kates and nine points from senior co-captain Kidani Brutus as the Jaspers matched their longest win streak of the year.

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Iona holds on at Fairfield

BRIDGEPORT, CT – The Iona College men’s basketball team saw an 14-point halftime lead dwindle to four points with 38 seconds left but held on for a 71-62 at Fairfield in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference road matchup at Webster Bank Arena. Junior Lamont Jones scored 20 points and senior Scott Machado added 18 for the Gaels (16-5, 8-2 MAAC) in the win.

By virtue of wins by Loyola and Manhattan this evening, Iona remains in a three-way tie for first place in the MAAC standings.

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 Rider clips St. Peter’s, 90-55


At the south end of Rider University’s Alumni Gymnasium there is a stage that once held the Count Basie orchestra and such other headliners as Billy Joel, Eric Clapton and the Charlie Daniels Band.

On Thursday night the bright lights of ESPN3 shown in the Broncs’ Zoo and the Rider men’s basketball team performed like Ready for Prime Time Players.

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Saints, streaks roll on

OD Anosike pushed his double-double streak to 16 straight games, and Siena never trailed in posting its 10th straight win over archrival Marist, 66-55, in front of 7,906 fans at Times Union Center Friday night. The Saints, now 10-10 overall and 5-5 in MAAC play, have now won six straight home games.

Anosike ended with 21 points and 12 rebounds. His streak now ties for the third longest in Division I since 1996-97. Fairfield’s Darren Phillip posted the longest streak over that stretch, ending the 1999-2000 season with 19 consecutive double-doubles.

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Cluess signed to multi-year contract extension

New Rochelle, NY – Iona College announced today the signing of a multi-year contract extension with Tim Cluess, head coach of the men’s basketball program, effective January 1, 2012­-June 30, 2017.


Cluess, named the 12th head coach at Iona in April 2010, led the Gaels to a 25-12 mark in his first season and cemented appearances in the MAAC and Post-season Tournament Championship Games.

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Tempo-free MAAC

Visits from Loyola and Manhattan meant a long week for Niagara and they dropped into the negative side of the ledger. Siena failed to show up against Rider and the Broncs crushed St. Peter’s, so now Tommy Dempsey’s team is back closer to where people expected them to be at the start of the season. In fact, besides Manhattan up there at second…

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Despite struggles, future bright for Marist

Despite a 2-8 record against conference foes, a 7-14 overall mark and an active seven-game losing streak, Marist has the clear look of a program finally on the rise.

A year ago, while it was struggling through a 3-15/6-25 campaign, Manhattan had a similar look and was touted in this blog as a program likely to turn it around quickly.

Now? The Jaspers are tied the lead in the MAAC standings with a 9-2 record and a 16-7 overall ledger.

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Mid-season Report Card

If either Manhattan or Loyola wins the regular-season title, its coach is the likely post-season pick. Masiello becomes an obvious choice for keeping Manhattan in contention at the end. Cluess’s team, Iona, would probably need to run the table. The preseason pick already has two losses in its first 10 league games. And, Buonaguro’s Saints are 5-5 in MAAC play with wins over Iona, Fairfield and Rider, and are playing with, basically, a six-man rotation. No one expected this. If Siena finishes over .500 in conference play, Buonaguro definitely deserves consideration.

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Much-traveled PG Lindsey makes Rider his next stop

Leaving prep school though, meant that Lindsey would never play at La Salle, whose coach John Giannini remains one of the player’s staunchest supporters.

Giannini, in a 2010 story that appeared in the New York Times, said Lindsey has traces of Allen Iverson’s game and mental makeup.
If you were going to pick one player with toughness and tenacity whose emotions can get the best of them and who has the supreme confidence and quickness to score, that’s the best comparison, Giannini said in the article.
Former Canisius coach, Joseph Curran passes away

Former Canisius College head men’s basketball coach Joseph Curran passed away Jan. 28, in Mystic, Conn. at the age of 89. Curran served as the Golden Griffins’ bench boss for six season from 1953-59, where he compiled a career record of 76-66.

Curran, who also served as the College’s athletic director, led Canisius to three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 1955-57. The only head coach in program history to win an NCAA Tournament game, Curran helped guide the Griffs to a 79-78 four-overtime victory over No. 2 North Carolina State in Madison Square Garden in 1956. That game is widely regarded as one of the greatest upsets in NCAA Tournament history. In the 1957 national tournament, Curran’s squad held former West Virginia great Rod Hundley to 17 points as the Blue and Gold eliminated the Mountaineers in the East Region quarterfinal round with a 64-56 win.

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