Canisius (20-10) at Manhattan (21-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, March 2, 4:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Draddy Gym (3,000) -- Riverdale, New York. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Canisius 9-3, Manhattan 8-3. Away Record: Canisius 9-6, Manhattan 12-4. Neutral Record: Canisius 2-1, Manhattan 1-0. Conference Record: Canisius 14-5, Manhattan 14-5. Series Record: Manhattan leads, 50-33.
GAME NOTES: Scenarios for the upcoming Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament are many, but the bottom line is the Manhattan Jaspers and the Canisius Golden Griffins need to win this afternoon in order to better their placement in the event coming up next week.
Both teams are sporting a 14-5 conference record at the moment, good enough for a tie for second place in the standings with newcomer Quinnipiac, which means each squad could finish anywhere from second to fourth in the final standings before the start of the MAAC Tournament.
Manhattan, one of the most successful teams out on the road this season, was at home on Friday night as it defeated Iona in overtime, 80-77. The victory was the seventh in the last eight outings for the Jaspers.
Meanwhile, the Golden Griffins have also found success in recent weeks with four wins in the last five decisions. The team settled in against Rider on the road two nights ago in order to pull off a 79-66 victory.
In a relationship that dates back more than a century to 1910, the Jaspers are in charge by a count of 50-33, thanks in part to an 84-73 victory in the first meeting of the season last month.
At Alumni Gym in New Jersey, the Golden Griffins were led by Billy Baron who not only poured in a game-high 29 points, shooting 5-of-7 behind the 3-point line, he also handed out a game-high 10 assists as well. Jordan Heath added 21 points, Zach Lewis 14 and Chris Perez 10 points for a squad that knocked down an impressive 53.7 percent from the floor at the offensive end of the floor and at the other end forced 16 turnovers by the Broncs.
In conference games this season Baron has been electrifying with a staggering 26.5 ppg based on his 43.1 percent shooting behind the 3-point line. But more than just a sizzling shooter, Baron has also stepped up his efforts in every facet of the game, from pulling down 5.1 rpg, to handing out 116 assists in 19 league decisions. Because of his play, Canisius is generating a healthy 82.3 ppg.
Manhattan battled back from a seven-point deficit in the first half and led by as many as 10 late in the period, but still the game with Iona had to go to overtime before Manhattan could be declared the winner. Emmy Andujar came off the bench to generate 28 points and clear six rebounds, followed by George Beamon and his double-double consisting of 13 points and 11 rebounds, although he shot a miserable 5-of-22 from the floor and missed all six chances behind the 3-point line.
Beamon continues to pace the Jaspers on offense with his 17.4 ppg in league play, but his 39.0 percent accuracy from the floor is still a bit too light for someone who takes so many shots every time out. Although he missed three MAAC games, Beamon is also first on the group with 7.0 rpg. Michael Alvarado checks in with 13.0 ppg and is first with 85 assists, but that doesn't excuse his mere 28.0 percent accuracy on the perimeter.
A lot of Manhattan's success this season has come away from Riverdale, but by no means does that infer that the Jaspers cannot win at home. As long as Beamon doesn't go in the tank with his shooting again Manhattan should be fine.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Manhattan 77, Canisius 73
03/02 10:39:00 ET