On Friday night, Manhattan College’s men’s basketball team fell to Canisius College by a score of 68-59. The loss brought Manhattan to fifth place in conference play with a record of 4-3.
The game featured a hard-fought first half that ended with the Jaspers out in front, 28-27. As he has done on several occasions this season, sensational sophomore transfer, Pauly Paulicap, anchored the team in the first half. Entering the matchup, Paulicap held the lead in the MAAC for blocks and field goal percentage as well as holding second place in offensive rebounds.
On Friday, Paulicap continued his dominant play as he finished with a slash line of 17 points, 6 blocks, and 5 rebounds and led the team in scoring with 10 points at the end of the half.
“He’s a game-changer,” head coach Steve Masiello said after the game, “especially defensively he really occupies the paint and does things to change momentum of the game.”
Senior guard Rich Williams also played a big role in Manhattan’s first half effort, as he was able to knock down a pair of three-point shots in the final minutes before intermission. Williams also added three assists and four rebounds while leading the team in first half minutes.
Although Manhattan was leading through 20 minutes while shooting 44.4 percent from the field as a team, the Jaspers had lacked an intricate part of their offensive attack: free throws. After not attempting a shot from the charity stripe in the first half, Paulicap drew a foul for two shots on the first possession of the second half. Manhattan would go on to shoot 75 percent from the free throw line and finished 9-for-12 on the game.
However, the story of the night can be told in two parts: Jasper turnovers and Isaiah Reese. Entering the second half, Masiello’s team led in points off turnovers (7-5) and had recorded more assists (10-9). At the end of the second half, the Jaspers had been eclipsed in both assists (22-15) and points off turnovers (20-12), and added 12 more turnovers to finish with 19 on the game.
“You can’t turn the ball over 19 times,” Masiello said after the game.
On the flip-side, Canisius rode the hot hand of Reese to victory in the second half. After shooting 0-for-4 from the field and 0-for-2 from three-point range, Reese was able to shoot 6-for-11 in the second half and go 4-for-5 from the free throw line to cap off a 22-point performance. Reese was able to contribute on both the offensive and defensive sides, charting six assists and six steals on the night.
This week, Manhattan faces couple of tough opponents. After travelling to Jersey City on Sunday, the Jaspers will go to Niagara and then back to Long Island for their home matchup with the rival Iona Gaels at NYCB Live – Home of the Nassau Coliseum. They will then return to Riverdale to face Marist on Jan. 30.
The Jaspers hope to build some momentum at Niagara before their matchup with top-seeded Iona this Saturday.