George Beamon, Juan’ya Green and the MAAC Press Break

Photo courtesy of MAAC sports

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

Beamon and Green earn final weekly awards

Beamon averaged 26.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in the final two games of the regular season to help the Jaspers secure the #3 seed at the 2012 MAAC Championship, the program’s highest finish since 2005-06. He shot 59.4% (19-32) from the field, 44.4% (4-9) from 3-point territory and 83.3% (10-12) at the free throw line in back-to-back 20+ point performances. On Friday, Beamon exploded for his second double-double of the season, posting a game-high 28 points and 10 rebounds, while shooting 13-for-19 (68.4%) from the field in a 90-77 victory over Canisius. Then on Sunday, the MAAC’s regular-season scoring leader (18.4 ppg) posted his ninth 20-point performance of the year with 24 points against Loyola. Beamon shot a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line, posted a 46.2% (6-13) field goal percentage and dished out two assists.

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THE Bracket

Edison, N.J. With the conclusion of the regular season, the pairings are set for the 2012 MAAC Men’s Basketball Championship, which will be held March 2-5 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.

Here is the schedule for the men’s championship:

Iona tops Fairfield to earn regular season title

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (AP) – Sean Armand scored all 17 of his points in the second half to lead Iona over Fairfield 77-72 Friday night, earning the Gaels the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season title.

The sophomore guard got 15 points in the final 7:50, starting with a 3-pointer that gave Iona a 59-58 lead. He scored the next 12 points for the Gaels (23-6, 14-3) as they went ahead 71-65 with 2:44 remaining.

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Rider trims Fairfield in regular season finale

LAWRENCEVILLE–It is not how you start the season but how you finish that counts. After suffering one of the worst starts in program history, the Broncs beat two of the top four teams in the conference on the final weekend of the regular season, Loyola and now Fairfield.

“Just a good weekend overall,” said Rider head coach Tommy Dempsey. “I think that it was important that we stood tall against two MAAC contenders and send a message that we still feel like we are a contender.”

Senior Novar Gadson (Philadelphia, Pa./John Bartram) scored Rider’s final eight points and finished with 19 points and seven rebounds, leading Rider to a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference win over Fairfield Sunday afternoon.

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Saints send off seniors with key win, avoid first round

Pretty much everything went Siena’s way Sunday afternoon. Pretty much. Kyle Downey scored a career-high 28 points on his Senior Day in an 86-75 rout of Canisius, and the Saints got the help they needed from rival Marist to avoid playing in the First Round of this week’s MAAC Championships.

As a result, Siena earned the No. 6 seed, and will play No. 3 seed Manhattan Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. in Springfield, Mass. The Saints have knocked the Jaspers out of the MAAC Tournament four of the last five years. Manhattan won 20 games in the regular-season, but lost four of its last six MAAC contests, including a decisive 70-64 setback in Albany February 14 and a 62-60 home loss to Loyola Sunday.

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Jaspers come up short on Senior Day

RIVERDALE, N.Y.The Manhattan men’s basketball team dropped a heartbreaker on Senior Day falling 62-60 to Loyola (21-8, 13-5 MAAC). Jaspers’ junior guard George Beamon scored a game-high 24 points and senior guard Kidani Brutus added 14 points and a game-high four assists in Manhattan’s (20-11, 12-6 MAAC) first setback at Draddy Gymnasium in two weeks.

The Jaspers will enter the 2012 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships as the # 3 seed after being selected to finish eighth in the MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Manhattan has enjoyed the best turnaround in NCAA Division I under the direction of first year head coach Steve Masiello with a 14-win improvement from last season. It also marks the Jaspers best campaign since 2005-06, which was the last time the program hit the 20-win plateau.

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MAAC Honor Roll inductees – Fairfield

Joe DeSantis is the second all-time leading scorer at Fairfield, netting 1,916 points during his collegiate career. He holds the Stags’ record for free throw percentage (.849) and ranks second for career points and career assists (622). DeSantis also set the Stags’ single season free throw percentage record of .892 during the 1976-77 season.

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MAAC Honor Roll inductees – Iona

Steve Burtt, Sr. is the all-time leading scorer in school history. He completed his college career with 2,534 career points, which placed him as the highest scoring player in the New York metropolitan area history. Burtt scored 30 or more points 20 times in his career, including a 40-point effort against Holy Cross in 1984. As a sophomore, he earned Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, Third Team All-American by Basketball Weekly and The Sporting News, and Second Team All-East in Eastern Basketball.

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MAAC announces All-Rookie team

EDISON, N.J. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference announces the 2011-2012 All-MAAC Men’s Basketball Rookie Team, selected by the MAAC’s head coaches.

The team is made up of Emmy Andujar of Manhattan College, Chavaugn Lewis of Marist College, Juan’ya Green and Antoine Mason of Niagara University, and Evan Hymes of Siena College. One of these five players will be named the 2011-2012 MAAC Rookie of the Year, also selected by the head coaches of the league. The winner will be announced on Thursday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Postseason Awards Show located at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The show will be broadcast live on MAAC.TV.

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All-MAAC teams announced

EDISON, N.J. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference announces the 2011-2012 All-MAAC Men’s Basketball Teams, selected by the MAAC’s head coaches.

The first team is made up of Rakim Sanders from Fairfield University, Mike Glover and Scott Machado from Iona College, Erik Etherly from Loyola University Maryland, George Beamon from Manhattan College and OD Anosike of Siena College. Glover and Machado are repeat selections from last season’s First Team. These six players are now eligible to be named the 2011-2012 Pepsi Max MAAC Player of the Year, also selected by the head coaches of the league. The winner will be announced on Thursday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Postseason Awards Show located at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The show will be broadcast live on MAAC.TV.

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MAAC Honor Roll inductees – Manhattan

John “Jack” Powers completed his collegiate career with 1,139 points and was a 1958 draft pick of the Syracuse Nationals. Powers, who was team captain his senior year, helped lead the Jaspers to three postseason appearances – two NCAA tournaments and one NIT. He began his coaching career as a high school basketball coach, but returned to the Jaspers as the head men’s basketball coach in 1968. Powers led the team for 10 seasons, posting a record of 142-114. In 1973, the Jaspers won the ECAC Holiday Festival and made four appearances in the NIT.

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Key injuries could affect MAAC outcomes

The 5-foot-8 freshman point guard has been the team’s indispensable performer, averaging 37.1 minutes per game as its only point guard. He suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s victory over Canisius when he ran into the basket support trying to chase down a Canisius player on a fast break. The injuries has been diagnosed as a bad bruise, but Hymes told reporters on Monday that he’s uncertain whether he’ll play in Saturday’s quarterfinal-round game against Manhattan.

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The candidates for MAAC coach of the Year

The best month of the year is nearly upon us. In two days it’s March and seedings are complete for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, who will be holding their conference tournament at The Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield next weekend for the first time ever. The top 3 seeds are Iona, Loyola and Manhattan and all three head coaches are legitimate candidates for MAAC Coach of the Year.

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What-to-know tournament previews: MAAC

If not the Gaels, who? Loyola (MD) finished 13-5 in the league, two games behind Iona. It did split the season series with the Gaels, and the Greyhounds are having some kind of special year. For the first time in their Division I history, the team got to 20 wins. It’s been D-I for 30 years. Incredible, and if Loyola made the Big Dance, it’d be just as great of a story as any other team out there. Loyola’s a great team on the O boards (39.3 percentage rate) and can swipe the ball (12.4 steal rate), but everything else they’re pretty average at, overall.

Fairfield (12-6) was the team meant to challenge Iona. It’s had a disappointing year. Point/combo guard Derek Needham is now done for the season with a bad wheel, so that’s one less weapon. The Stags are coached by first-year honcho Sydney Johnson, who led Princeton to the NCAAs last year in a dramatic playoff victory against Harvard. Getting to The Dance with this team would shock him just as much, I’d assume. Last year it was fourth-seeded St. Peter’s that wound up getting the auto-bid, so Fairfield’s got that going for it, which is nice.

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