Hofstra (3-2) at Manhattan (0-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 21, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Draddy Gymnasium (2,520) -- Riverdale, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Hofstra 3-0, Manhattan 0-2. Away Record: Hofstra 0-2, Manhattan 0-0. Neutral Record: Hofstra 0-0, Manhattan 0-0. Conference Record: Hofstra 0-0, Manhattan 0-0. Series Record: Manhattan leads, 38-22.
GAME NOTES: The Manhattan Jaspers will try to stop the Pride's momentum when Hofstra visits Draddy Gymnasium for non-conference action on Wednesday.
After an 0-2 start that consisted of very one-sided road losses at Monmouth and Purdue, the Pride won all three games of the 2K Sports Classic in Hempstead this past weekend. Hofstra began the tournament with a narrow, yet impressive 66-63 victory over the reigning Summit League Champion South Dakota State Jackrabbits. It followed that with a 15-point win over the District of Columbia before outlasting Marshall to pick up a 103-100 decision in a double- overtime thriller. The contest with the Thundering Herd marked the first time the Pride reached the 100-point plateau since 1992. Coach Mo Cassara's team exceeded expectations in the tourney, but it cannot be ignored that it was outscored by 29 points in both of its away games thus far.
Just as Hofstra began its season, Manhattan enters with an 0-2 record. The Jaspers returned their entire starting lineup from last season, but they have been without their superstar shooting guard George Beamon so far as he recovers from an ankle injury. Although Beamon is a scoring machine that averaged a MAAC-best 19 ppg last season, even his presence could not have reversed the results of the team's first two outings. Manhattan opened up its 2012-2013 campaign with a 79-51 loss at No. 2 Louisville before being handed a 79-45 setback by the Harvard Crimson.
This will be the 61st meeting in history between these programs. The Jaspers hold a 38-22 lead in the series after their 68-59 win at Hofstra a season ago.
Despite the 103-point outing, Hofstra is still only netting 71.8 ppg on just 39.3 percent shooting from the floor, including a 22-of-72 mark from beyond the arc through five games. The Pride's run through the tournament was charged by a four man wrecking crew made up of sophomore guard Taran Buie, senior guard Stevie Mejia, sophomore guard Shaquille Stokes, and freshman forward Jimmy Hall. All four finished the tournament with double-digit scoring averages. Mejia was named the MVP of the Hempstead Subregional after he netted 15.3 ppg during the three-game span. Forward Moussa Kane did the blue collar work inside with 7.3 points and 8.0 boards per tournament game. Including the opening pair of losses, Stokes and Hall are tied for the team-lead in scoring with 12.8 ppg. Stokes, who is a transfer from Hawaii, came up clutch versus the Jackrabbits with a game-winning three-pointer in the closing seconds. Hall has been a monster inside for the Pride right out the gate with 9.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest.
Coach Steve Masiello guided Manhattan to a 15-win last season, but his team clearly loses its edge with Beamon sidelined. In his career, Beamon has scored in double digits 63 times. The second most on the team is Michael Alvarado with 25. The Jaspers are hitting on just 34.9 percent of their field goal attempts to score a mere 48.0 ppg through two games. Alvarado is pacing the team with 11 ppg while Rhamel Brown is posting a double-double average of 10.5 points and 10 boards per game.
Hofstra definitely looks like a different team at home than on the road. The Pride have a chance to build some more confidence with the wounded Beamon not fully recovered.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Hofstra 73, Manhattan 63
11/21 10:33:21 ET