Monmouth (3-5) at Manhattan (5-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 8, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Draddy Gymnasium (2.520) -- Riverdale, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Monmouth 2-2, Manhattan 0-2. Away Record: Monmouth 1-3, Manhattan 5-0. Neutral Record: Monmouth 0-0, Manhattan 0-0. Conference Record: Monmouth 0-1, Manhattan 1-0. Series Record: Manhattan leads, 3-2.
GAME NOTES: The Manhattan Jaspers return for a rare home game, as they host the Monmouth Hawks in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference bout at Draddy Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon.
The Hawks did not receiver a warm welcome to the league in their first conference game as a member of the MAAC as they were taken down 89-83 at home by Rider on Thursday. The loss ended a short two-game win streak for the Hawks, who are 3-5 this season with just one win in four tries on the road.
Playing at home has actually been worse for the Jaspers than being on the road. Manhattan is 0-2 at Draddy Gymnasium but a perfect 5-0 as the visiting team.
In December of 1996 Monmouth collected a 76-55 win over Manhattan. That contest was the most recent game in the short-lived all-time series, which the Jaspers lead, 3-2.
After starting the game on a 15-3 run it looked like Monmouth might be able to knock off Rider. However the Hawks were too sloppy on defense, committing 28 personal fouls and sending the Broncs to the free-throw line 36 times. That was the difference, as the Hawks were outscored 28-10 from the free-throw line in the six-point loss.
Deon Jones had a game-high 24 points and tied for a game-high with seven rebounds in the losing effort. Jones (19.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg) is one of very few productive performers in the rotation for the Hawks, who are scoring a respectable 71.6 points per game as a unit. However, Monmouth is connecting on just 40.9 percent from the field, while allowing foes to net 46.1 percent. Andrew Nicholas (14.4 ppg) is the second leading scorer but his erratic shooting (.360 FG percentage) does more harm than his scoring does good. Justin Robinson (10.1 ppg) is the only other player scoring in double figures and one of just five above 4.5 points per game.
Manhattan had a much more successful run in its conference opener on Friday. The Jaspers visited Marist and forced 17 turnovers and held the Red Foxes to 36.2 percent shooting to earn a 70-59 win. George Beamon finished with a double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds) but could have been more efficient with his shot, as he was 3-of-11 on field goal attempts.
The Jaspers are only shooting a bit better than Monmouth this season, knocking down 41.6 percent from the field. However, Manhattan has held foes to just 41.3 percent shooting. Beamon (21.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg) is an explosive scorer, but he has been ice cold of late with just 18 points on 4-of-19 shooting in his last two games. Beamon had at least 24 points in the first five games of the campaign. Michael Alvarado (12.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4 apg) contributes across the board and is called on to pick up the slack when Beamon struggles, as he did against Marist with a team-high 18 points. Rhamel Brown (8.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.9 bpg) is known for his ability to protect the rim.
Against a Monmouth team that doesn't defend well, Beamon will be able to find his rhythm easily and help the Jaspers get back into the win column.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Manhattan 79, Monmouth 67
12/08 10:35:13 ET