George Washington (2-0) at Manhattan (2-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 16, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Draddy Gymnasium (2,345) -- Bronx, New York. Television: None. Home Record: GW 2-0, Manhattan 0-0. Away Record: GW 0-0, Manhattan 2-0. Neutral Record: GW 0-0, Manhattan 0-0. Conference Record: GW 0-0, Manhattan 0-0. Series Record: George Washington leads, 3-2.
GAMES NOTES: After spending the first two games of the year on the road, the Manhattan Jaspers are home at Draddy Gymnasium to face off with the George Washington Colonials in a non-league tilt on Saturday night.
With two games under its belt, George Washington is looking strong. The Colonials routed Radford, 76-54, in last Friday's season opener and then rolled over Maine, 108-81, in their second game. Both of the wins came at home for the Colonials, who are making their first appearance on the road on Saturday. George Washington was not that effective away from home last season when it went 5-9 in games played as the visitor. In fact the Colonials lost their last five road games of the year last season. George Washington won't be on the road for long as they host Delaware State on Tuesday.
What a start it has been for Manhattan. The Jaspers have been in a pair of tense road contests in the early going but have come out on top of each. First the Jaspers stunned La Salle, in Philadelphia, knocking off one of last year's Sweet 16 teams 99-90 in double overtime. The Jaspers then faced cross-town rival Columbia and thanks to a pair of free throw from George Beamon in the final second, claimed a thrilling 71-70 victory. The Jaspers are riding that momentum into their home opener at Draddy Gymnasium, where they went 7-4 last season. Manhattan gets right back on the road for its next game against Illinois State.
These teams were both 2-0 when they met last year during the BB&T Classic. George Washington claimed a 3-2 advantage in the all-time series with a 67-55 victory.
The offensive success for the Colonials has been rather impressive. Though largely colored by the 108-point effort against Maine, the Colonials are shooting at a 52.5 percent clip and assisting on 16.5 field goal per game. Kethan Savage scored 18 points off the bench in the season opener and then worked his way into the starting line against Maine. He rewarded the adjustment made by head coach Mike Lonergan, as he netted 18 points once again. Savage has not been the only double-figure scorer for the Colonials. Maurice Creek (15.5 ppg) and Kevin Larsen (14.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg) have each been reliable options when a bucket is needed. Meanwhile, Isaiah Armwood (12.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg) had seven points and 12 rebounds in the opener and then turned it on offensively against Maine (18 points, nine rebounds).
Though they are not shooting at such a lofty percentage as George Washington (.464 FG percentage), the Jaspers have been doing just fine offensively thanks to ball movement as they are assisting on 18 field goals per game. Michael Alvarado (12.5 ppg, 5.0 apg) has been the most effective distributor with 10 assists already on the year. Alvarado has also done his part to find his own shot as he is one of three players scoring in double figures for Manhattan. However Alvarado's contributions pale in comparison to those of George Beamon (26.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg). Beamon missed the last 26 games of last season but has come on with a vengeance this year scoring 24 points in the opener and adding 28 in the win over Columbia. Shane Richards (16.0 ppg, 3.5 apg) is proving to be a real weapon off the bench as he has been scoring and passing extremely well as a reserve.
George Washington has been a more balanced offensive team this year, relying on multiple scorers, while the Jaspers have leaned heavily on Beamon. However the Jaspers have one of the better interior defenders in the mid-major ranks in Rhamel Brown (4.0 bpg). If Brown can neutralize Armwood it could go a long way to keeping the Jaspers in the win column.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Manhattan 79, George Washington 75
11/16 10:42:24 ET