Perhaps it was the 8:45 a.m. start. Maybe the early season rust. But the Jaspers struggled, and they did so on both ends of the court against the Winthrop Eagles.
The Jaspers shot 40 percent from the field and committed 16 turnovers in their 94-81 loss to the Winthrop Eagles.
The Eagles had four players score in double figures, led by Joshua Davenport’s 22 points.
The Jaspers quelled any idea of being affected by the early tip off, opening up hot out of the gate. The Jaspers were led by Calvin Crawford’s nine points on three 3-pointers. On the defensive end, Manhattan’s 7-foot-2 big man Ahmed Ismail provided the Jaspers with an interior presence they were missing all of last season. Ismail blocked three shots in the first seven minutes of the game.
But Crawford was the only source of offense for Manhattan, which failed to build on its solid defensive showing to start the game. The Jaspers led 20-17 midway through the first half, but Winthrop went on an offensive surge to end the period.
Behind Keon Johnson’s 13 points and Anders Broman’s 10, the Eagles scored 36 points in 12 minutes to take a 53-44 lead.
The start to the second half pinned Manhattan into an even bigger deficit, as the Jaspers went scoreless for the first six minutes and Winthrop went on an 11-0 run.
The Eagles maintained control throughout the half, as the Jaspers continued to struggle offensively and had Crawford, Ismail and Zane Waterman foul out. With the Eagles up 83-66, the Jaspers pulled off a 7-1 run to trim the lead to 11 with less than five minutes remaining.
The Jaspers hovered around an 11-point deficit for the rest of the game, but failed to build a run, as the Eagles held on for a 94-81 win.
Zavier Turner led the scoring for the Jaspers with 16 points, followed by Thomas Capuano’s 12.
The Jaspers return to action on Friday in a home game against Hofstra.