The Jaspers took a dip in the standings this weekend after they lost to Quinnipiac 90-86 in overtime on Jan. 26. The Jaspers are now 3-3 in their last six games – which were all conference games – after starting 11-2. They are third in the conference.
The Jaspers (7-3 MAAC, 14-5) have now lost twice to Quinnipiac (7-3 MAAC, 12-7) this season, and the Bobcats could pose a potential problem for the Jaspers if they meet again in the MAAC Tournament.
“They’re a very good team,” Coach Steve Masiello said after the game. “They beat us twice. They have our number.”
In the two teams’ first meeting, the Jaspers were shorthanded when they lost George Beamon five minutes into the game when he injured his shoulder. This time, the Bobcats were without Ousmane Drame, who averages 12.3 points a game and 9.8 rebounds per game.
Quinnipiac boasts three of the top four rebounders in the MAAC, and Ike Azotam is a top-5 rebounder in the country with 11.6 rebounds per game. Quinnipiac came into the game averaging 46.9 rebounds a game, the most in the MAAC, while Manhattan averaged just 36.8, third best in the MAAC.
The Jaspers lost the rebounding battle to Quinnipiac on Jan. 26, 50-39, and four of their five total losses have come when they are outrebounded. The Bobcats also out-rebounded the Jaspers, 49-44, when the two teams met on Jan. 9. The Jaspers lost that game 76-81.
The winner on the glass doesn’t always translate to the winner on the scoreboard, but it does play a big factor. Quinnipiac has out-rebounded its opponents 17 of 19 games this season, and are 12-5 in those games.
Boston University defeated Quinnipiac, 69-66, despite losing the rebounding battle by 20. Boston University, however, shot an incredible 49.1 percent from the field, 41.2 percent from 3-point range, and 76.9 percent from the free-throw line.
Manhattan has also found ways to win while being out-rebounded. They are 6-4 when they lose the battle on the glass, but 0-2 against Quinnipiac.
The Bobcats were able to capitalize on 17 offensive rebounds, scoring 22 second chance points, the second highest point total the Jaspers have given up this season. The Bobcats 27 second chance points in the two teams’ first meeting are the most.
In addition to dominating on the glass, Bobcats’ coach Tom Moore said his team did a good job sagging off the perimeter shooters and clouding the paint to make it tough for George Beamon to score inside. Beamon scored just 12 points on 29 percent shooting from the field, one of his worst games of the season.
“Give Quinnipiac credit,” Masiello said. “They came out with a mentality to stop him and they did in the first half. I think their defense was terrific.”
Despite having trouble rebounding and finding good shots, the Jaspers put themselves in a position to win the game. The Jaspers trailed by 10 with 5 minutes and 33 seconds left in the second half, but fought their way back with a 13-0 run.
The Jaspers led by one with 2:01 left when Emmy Andujar went to the free throw line and missed two crucial free throws. And when the game was tied at 77 with 21 seconds left, the Jaspers failed to execute a play and settled with an Alvarado contested 3-pointer.
There is a good chance these two teams can meet again. The Jaspers don’t have to win the rebound battle to win the game, but they have to defend better.
The Bobcats shot 44 percent from the field, including 64 percent shooting for Zaid Hearst, who finished with 25 points. The Bobcats also scored over 80 points in both meetings with the Jaspers, who are now 1-3 when they allow over 80 points.
Manhattan will look to rebound when they take on first place Iona (8-2 MAAC, 11-8) on Jan. 31 at the Hynes Athletic Center. Iona defeated Quinnipiac, 95-73, on Jan. 24, and became the first team to out-rebound Quinnipiac in the past 51 games.