RIVERDALE, N.Y. – Rhamel Brown (Brooklyn, N.Y./Transit Tech) exploded for 18 points, seven rebounds and a career-high seven blocks lifting the Manhattan men’s basketball team to a 65-53 victory over Marist (4-13, 1-5 MAAC) on Sunday in Riverdale. Jaspers’ freshman forward Shane Richards (New York, N.Y./York Prep) scored in double-figures for the second straight game with 11 points, while junior point guard Michael Alvarado (Bronx, N.Y./All Hallows) added eight points and five rebounds in his first appearance since suffering an ankle injury on Jan. 1.
Manhattan (5-11, 3-3 MAAC) shot a season-high 53.8% (21-39) from the field in a wire-to-wire victory without injured All-MAAC senior guard George Beamon (Roslyn, N.Y./Roslyn). Nine Jaspers got in the scoring column in a balance offensive attack. Graduate student Roberto Colonette (Bronx, N.Y./ASA College) chipped in seven points, going along with five rebounds over an efficient 15 minutes of action in his first start since Dec. 16 at LIU Brooklyn.
The Red Foxes received a game-high 21 points from senior guard Devin Price. Manhattan’s relentless defense disrupted Marist’s offensive, which resulted in a mere 31.9% (15-47) shooting from the field and 2-for-10 (20%) beyond the arc. Marist sophomore forward Chavaughn Lewis posted a double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds), shooting 3-for-14 from the field.
The Jaspers scored the first six points of the contest and never looked back. Brown’s first field goal of a 7-for-10 shooting effort came at 18:41 with a layup, and then 40 seconds later he threw down a thunderous two-handed dunk to get Manhattan rolling. Senior guard Mohamed Koita (Cergy, France/Stoneridge Prep) capped a 9-1 game-opening run with three free-throws at the 16:22 mark.
Manhattan allowed the Red Foxes to score only two field goals in the first 10 minutes of action as the Jaspers opened an 18-point lead. The Jaspers scored 10 straight points in 61 seconds, featuring key three-pointers from sophomore forward Donovan Kates (Hopkinsville, Ky./Christian County) and Richards, to open a double-digit advantage by the 12 minute mark. Colonette’s layup at 10:48 gave Manhattan its largest lead of the contest, 27-9.
The Jaspers shot a scorching 68.2% (15-22) in the first half as Brown led the way with nine points on 4-for-4 shooting. Price had more than half of Marist’s points at the break as Manhattan led 40-26.
Marist worked its deficit down to seven points late in the second half, but Manhattan did not let the Red Foxes get any closer. The Red Foxes made it a 55-48 ballgame with 4:55 remaining, after a pair of free-throws from freshman forward Phillip Lawrence. Brown stepped up for the Jaspers answering with a layup on the next possession. He scored seven of Manhattan’s 10 points in the final five minutes to help secure the Jaspers’ third home victory of the season.
Manhattan’s bench outscored the Marist reserves 23-7. Sophomore forward Emmy Andujar (Bronx, N.Y./Rice)contributed six points and six rebounds in 24 minutes off the Jasper bench. Kates added five points. Sophomore point guard RaShawn Stores (Bronx, N.Y./Robinson School) led Manhattan in assists for the eighth time in 16 appearances this season, finishing with a game-high four assists.
The Jaspers return to MAAC action this week traveling to Western New York to face Canisius (Jan. 17) and Niagara (Jan. 19). Manhattan swept the annual road trip last year for only the sixth time in program history since Canisius and Niagara joined the MAAC in 1989-90. It was the Jaspers first sweep since the 2003-04 campaign. Tip-off at Canisius on Thursday is slated for 7 p.m.