Manhattan (11-2) at Quinnipiac (8-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 9, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: TD Bank Sports Center (3,570) -- Hamden, Connecticut. Television: SNY. Home Record: Manhattan 2-2, Quinnipiac 4-1. Away Record: Manhattan 8-0, Quinnipiac 3-4. Neutral Record: Manhattan 1-0, Quinnipiac 1-0. Conference Record: Manhattan 4-0, Quinnipiac 3-1. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Manhattan Jaspers will put their perfect Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference record on the line as they venture to the TD Bank Sports Center to challenge the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Thursday.
The Jaspers notched their eighth win in a row on Saturday as they completed an 83-57 rout of Fairfield at home. Manhattan's win improved the team to 11-2 overall and 4-0 in MAAC play. It has also gone a perfect 8-0 on the road this season including victories over notable foes such as La Salle, Illinois State and South Carolina. The Jaspers are leading the MAAC in scoring margin at plus 7.7 ppg thanks to their strong defensive effort that has limited the opposition to only 70.2 ppg.
Quinnipiac is surrendering 73 ppg on the defensive end of the floor, but it has shown the ability to scorch the nets en route to an average of 78 ppg. The Bobcats earned their second decision in a row on Tuesday as they downed Iona, 86-74, at home to rise to an 8-5 overall standing which includes a 3-1 mark in league games. They have gone 4-1 at home this season with the only setback coming courtesy of Boston University on Dec. 2.
This will be the first meeting in history between Manhattan and Quinnipiac.
George Beamon scored 19 points and pulled down five rebounds to propel Manhattan past Fairfield in its last outing. Rich Williams contributed 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting, and was able to sink all four of his tries at the free-throw line as well. Shane Richards netted 13 points and Rhamel Brown added 12. Beamon, who missed the majority of the 2012-13 campaign due to injury, has been on fire as of late. The 6-foot-4 senior has averaged 23.6 ppg and six rpg over his last five outings. Brown is grabbing 3.2 rpg on the offensive end alone and rejecting four shots per tilt.
Beamon and company will try to slow down Zaid Hearst, who scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Quinnipiac's 12-point victory over the Gaels on Monday. Hearst shot 9-of-11 from the field, including a 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, while Ike Azotam also registered a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Umar Shannon and Kasim Chandler netted 12 points apiece for the Bobcats. Azotam is averaging a double-double with 16.9 ppg and 11 rpg. Hearst is second on the team in both categories with 13.8 ppg and 8.5 rpg. Shannon (12.6 ppg), Ousmane Drame (12.2 ppg) and Chandler (10.2 ppg, 2.8 apg) have all played very well as key members of Quinnipiac's rotation.
Manhattan's success on the road this season is a good sign as it heads to Connecticut, but the Bobcats have a very good chance of ending the Jaspers' winning streak. Quinnipiac's ability to dominate the glass gives it plenty of extra possessions, which tends to make a drastic difference in evenly matched league bouts.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Quinnipiac 80, Manhattan 78
01/09 10:34:47 ET