Manhattan (12-16) at Loyola-Maryland (20-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, March 3, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reitz Arena (2,100) -- Baltimore, Maryland. Television: None. Home Record: Manhattan 7-4, Loyola-Maryland 10-3. Away Record: Manhattan 5-10, Loyola-Maryland 7-7. Neutral Record: Manhattan 0-2, Loyola-Maryland 3-0. Conference Record: Manhattan 9-8, Loyola-Maryland 11-6. Series Record: Manhattan leads, 31-23.
GAME NOTES: Coming off the lowest-scoring game in the history of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the Manhattan Jaspers turn their attention to the Loyola-Maryland Greyhounds as the teams close out the regular season on Sunday afternoon at Reitz Arena.
Manhattan has had trouble putting up significant point totals all season long, but the Jaspers reached a new low two nights ago, along with Fairfield, as the teams combined for the second-lowest combined score (34-31, Manhattan) since the 3-point line was instituted more than 25 years ago. The win for the Jaspers, was the second in a row and the sixth in the last seven outings as the team moved to 9-8 in conference play.
Because of the late run of success by Manhattan the last few weeks, the team can finish between fifth and seventh in the standings in the MAAC, depending on how a number of scenarios play out on Sunday in advance of the conference tournament.
As for the Greyhounds, they can potentially finish as high as third in the final standings or down at the fifth spot. The team came up short in Friday's meeting against Iona on the road, 90-86, snapping a three-game win streak in the process.
The Greyhounds won the first meeting of the season in late January by a score of 51-41, but still Manhattan maintains a 31-23 advantage in the all-time series.
The starting five for the Jaspers combined to shoot only 5-of-26 from the floor, the team as a whole a mere 25.5 percent, yet still Manhattan came away with the win thanks to Shance Richards who tallied 11 points in 24 minutes off the bench. Defensively, Manhattan locked down on Fairfield, allowing the visitors to connect on only 26.7 percent from the field and watched the Stags convert one of their two free-throw tries.
The loss of George Beamon early on in the campaign has certainly hurt the Jaspers this season, leaving the team with only one active double-digit scorer in Rhamel Brown with his 11.6 ppg. Brown, who has fouled out five times, is also first on the team with 7.1 rpg and 87 blocked shots, but having him on the floor in clutch situations is not always a good idea seeing as how he has handed out a mere 18 assists in 28 games and is shooting a dreadful 40.4 percent at the free-throw line.
With three players scoring at least 20 points and the team shooting almost 55 percent from the field, you'd think that would be enough to cruise to a win, but in the case of the Greyhounds two nights ago it actually left them four points behind Iona on the road. Erik Etherly and Robert Olson both tallied 23 points, the former adding 10 rebounds and five assists, while Anthony Winbush tacked on 20 points and eight boards in the disappointing outcome.
Playing in excess of 35 minutes per game, Dylon Cormier is the top scorer for the Greyhounds on the season with his 16.7 ppg, although his mere 28.8 percent accuracy behind the 3-point line is less than impressive. Etherly checks in with another 15.7 ppg and is tied for the rebounding lead with Winbush (7.0 ppg) with 6.4 rpg. Olson (13.0 ppg) has been the most aggressive 3-point shooter with 62 connections, but still the team as a whole is just 30.1 percent accurate on the outside.
Manhattan may be hoping to keep the score down in this contest, but given how well the Greyhounds shot the ball the other night, that will probably be a tough battle to win on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola-Maryland 71, Manhattan 56
03/03 10:33:38 ET