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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 26, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Draddy Gym (2,345) -- Bronx, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Fordham 2-1, Manhattan 0-1. Away Record: Fordham 0-1, Manhattan 3-0. Neutral Record: Fordham 0-0, Manhattan 0-0. Conference Record: Fordham 0-0, Manhattan 0-0. Series Record: Manhattan leads, 55-50
GAME NOTES: A couple of Empire State schools located just miles apart, add another chapter to their bitter rivalry, as the Fordham Rams come calling on the Manhattan Jaspers.
Fordham enters tonight's fray having split its first two games, alternating wins and losses since a season-opening triumph over St. Francis-PA (87-67). The Rams were most recently in action at home versus Sacred Heart on Saturday, and they dropped an 85-73 decision in that contest to suffer their first loss in three home games this season.
Manhattan brings a 3-1 record into this contest, the team having won at Illinois State last Wednesday, 79-70, in its most recent outing. The Jaspers improved to 3-0 on the road with that victory, and their only previous home tilt prior to this evening's matchup resulted in an 80-74 loss to George Washington on Nov. 16.
This is the 106th meeting in what is affectionately known as the Battle of the Bronx, with Manhattan clinging to a 55-50 series advantage. The Jaspers have won nine of the last 12 matchups.
Despite their lackluster record, the Rams have two of the top performers in the Altantic-10 Conference on the roster, as Branden Frazier and Jon Severe are averaging 22.0 and 21.5 ppg, respectively. Mandell Thomas (13.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4.8 apg, 2.0 spg) is the team's only other double-digit scorer at the moment, and he makes himself invaluable in other areas as well. In addition to being Fordham's leading scorer, Frazier is also tops on the glass with 8.3 rpg, and he ranks second with 17 helpers. As a team, the Rams are lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of 78.5 ppg, but they give up nearly the same (78.2 ppg), despite the opposition shooting an absolutely dreadful 19 percent from 3-point range.
Severe scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Frazier recorded a double-double consisting of 21 points and 10 rebounds, but those efforts went for naught as Fordham dropped a 12-point decision to Sacred Heart the last time out. The Rams shot just 36.5 percent from the floor, missing a staggering 23 of their 28 3-point tries while suffering significant deficits in both rebounding (49-35) and points from the foul line (25-14).
Manhattan has a similar issue in that it scores nearly as many points as it allows (80.8 ppg to 77.5 ppg), and the team has its own superstar in George Beamon, he of 27.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Michael Alvardo (11.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.0 apg) and Shane Richards (11.0 ppg) are both nice players, but make no mistake, the Jaspers will only go as far as Beamon takes them.
Beamon shot 8-of-16 from the field in netting 24 points in the recent win over Illinois State, and he also grabbed seven boards and went 7-of-9 at the free- throw line. Help came from Rhamel Brown, who logged a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, but he shot just 3-of-10 from the floor. Alvardo chipped in 11 points for the Jaspers, who claimed a near-double-digit road win despite knocking down only 35.5 percent of their total shots, which included a poor 5-of-18 showing from long range, and committing 21 turnovers.
As well as Frazier and Severe have played early on this season, they are likely to be the second- and third-best players on the court, as Beamon is hoping to make a strong case for Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors. Expect the Jaspers to pick up that first home win, although it's likely to be close.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Manhattan 77, Fordham 72
11/26 10:33:24 ET