Fairfield (3-10) at Manhattan (10-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Draddy Gymnasium (2.520) -- Riverdale, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Fairfield 2-3, Manhattan 1-2. Away Record: Fairfield 1-5, Manhattan 8-0. Neutral Record: Fairfield 0-2, Manhattan 1-0. Conference Record: Fairfield 0-3, Manhattan 3-0. Series Record: Manhattan leads, 48-43.
GAME NOTES: The Fairfield Stags take aim at their first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference win when they take on the Manhattan Jaspers at Draddy Gymnasium.
Fairfield has split its last four contests and is coming off Thursday's 75-56 setback at Marist College. The Stags are off to a 0-3 start in conference play and are just 1-7 away from campus this season. Following this tilt, they'll return to Bridgeport to host Saint Peter's on Wednesday.
Manhattan will be playing on its home floor for the first time since Dec. 8. The Jaspers have reeled off seven straight wins and concluded a four-game road trip on Thursday with a 74-62 victory at Saint Peter's. Beginning tonight, they'll play three of their next four at Draddy Gym, where they are just 1-2 on the season compared to 9-0 elsewhere.
In terms of the all-time series between these two teams, Manhattan holds a 48-43 lead.
The Stags could not have started more poorly against Marist, as they missed their first 10 shots from the field while committing six turnovers. They were never quite able to regroup, thanks partly to 16 turnovers for the game and partly to a minus-12 rebounding differential. Fairfield was whistled for 27 fouls and was outscored at the foul line, 32-11. Sean Grennan led the way with 14 points behind 4-of-5 shooting from the perimeter in a losing effort. Coleman Johnson and Marcus Gilbert both grabbed six rebounds and finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively. On the season, Gilbert leads the team in scoring with 14.4 ppg, followed by Maurice Barrow with 11.0 ppg.
Manhattan's offense filters through forward George Beamon, who is putting up a team-best 21.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per tilt. In addition to his prowess on the boards, Beamon is a 91-percent free-throw shooter (100-of-110) and has knocked down 20 3-pointers (.328). Michael Alvarado is next in line with 11.2 ppg. On Thursday, Manhattan forced 17 turnovers and held Saint Peter's to 29.8-percent shooting from the floor. Beamon turned in another strong performance with a game-high 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Alvarado joined him in double figures with 13 points. The Jaspers shot 29-of-38 (.763) at the free-throw line in a game that saw 54 personal fouls called.
For one reason or another, the Jaspers have been at their best in unfriendly territory throughout the season's early going. Their unbeaten road streak is bound to end at some point as conference play heats up, but this matchup presents an opportunity to treat the home faithful to a win over a struggling opponent.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Manhattan 73, Fairfield 57
01/04 10:41:43 ET