JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Manhattan picked up its ninth road victory of the season on Saturday defeating Saint Peter’s (5-21, 4-11 MAAC) 85-63 at the Yanitelli Center. Jaspers’ point guard Michael Alvarado scored a game-high 17 points and teammate George Beamon added 16 points as Manhattan (18-9, 11-4 MAAC) ended a two game slide.
The Jaspers used a 64% (16-25) shooting effort in the second half and forced 20 turnovers in the contest to earn their sixth 20+ point victory of the season. Manhattan also dominated the rebounding column, 33-22, as the Jaspers completed the regular-season sweep of Saint Peter’s for the first time since 2006-2007.
Coming off a sluggish start in the setback at Fairfield on Thursday, Manhattan made a statement with their energy out of the gate on Saturday. The Jaspers scored the first seven points of the contest and maintained their advantage for all but 32 seconds. Junior guard Mohamed Koita, Alvarado and Beamon were key contributors to the balanced scoring effort in the first half.
Koita knocked down his first three shots as he quickly went over his season-high by scoring seven points in the first half. The Jaspers outscored Saint Peter’s 11-5 over a four minute span with Alvarado capping the spurt with his second three point play of the half. Alvarado led the Jaspers with nine points at the break.
Saint Peter’s responded with a 10-2 run to earn its only lead of the game taking a 24-23 advantage after Brandon Hall’s lay up in traffic at 6:44. Peacocks’ forward Markese Tucker scored five of the 10 points during the run and finished with 14 points off the bench.
Jaspers’ senior guard Kidani Brutus answered with big shots to swing momentum back to the Manhattan side. Back-to-back threes from Brutus sparked 12 unanswered points that sent Manhattan ahead by double-digits. During the offensive flurry Koita threw down a one handed jam in transition and Beamon put the Jaspers on top 35-24 with a three-pointer from the corner at 3:28.
Saint Peter’s managed to keep it close, trailing 39-33 at the break with Peacocks’ guard Lamin Fulton’s hot three point shooting. Fulton shot 3-for-3 from beyond the arc in the first half and he finished with five treys for a team-high 15 points.
The Jaspers charged out of halftime using a 13-2 run to reopen a double-digit advantage. Jaspers’ freshman forward Emmy Andujar‘s lay up off a Koita steal at 16:17 put Manhattan on top 52-35 forcing a Saint Peter’s timeout. Andujar powered the Jaspers in the early minutes of the period as he scored eight of their first 15 points and he registered all 10 of his points in the second half.
Manhattan didn’t stop there. The Jaspers offense hit its stride after consecutive three-pointers from Alvarado and Ryan McCoy to go up 63-46 with 12:27 remaining. Manhattan closed the contest outscoring Saint Peter’s 28-17 down the stretch.
Donovan Kates was the fourth Jasper to post double-figures as he scored eight of his 10 points in the second half. Kates matched Andujar with six rebounds to lead Manhattan.
Brutus dished out four of the Jaspers’ 15 assists to go along with his six points. Beamon anchored Manhattan’s solid free-throw shooting effort (75%, 24-32) by going 10-for-13 at the charity stripe.
Koita finished with nine points on 4-for-5 shooting, while Jasper big men Roberto Colonette and Rhamel Brown recorded six points and three rebounds apiece. McCoy rounded out the Jaspers scoring with five points in 16 minutes off the bench.
Manhattan shot 51.9% (27-52) from the field and 43.8% (7-16) from downtown. Saint Peter’s shot 48.9% (23-47) with seven three-pointers.
The Jaspers return to action on Tuesday when Manhattan meets Siena at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.