The Manhattan Jaspers lost to the Marist Red Foxes by a score of 62-59 on Tuesday night in Draddy Gymnasium.
The Jaspers came into the game having dropped three of their last four matchups. They stood at 10-12 overall and 5-5 in conference play which was good for sixth place in the MAAC. The loss against the Red Foxes, who came in at 4-17 overall and 2-7 in the MAAC, kept Manhattan in sixth place and prevented them from tying Quinnipiac for fifth.
“I give Marist credit,” said head coach Steve Masiello. “They did things to win the game that we didn’t.”
After Pauly Paulicap opened up the scoring by connecting on a free throw, the Red Foxes made it an 8-1 Marist lead 2 minutes and 41 seconds into the game.
Manhattan quickly turned things around however, by going on a 19-3 run to make it a 20-11 Jasper lead with 11:15 remaining in the first half. Sophomore Aaron Walker Jr. and seniors Zane Waterman and Rich Williams combined for 17 of the 19 points during the run.
Manhattan wouldn’t relinquish the lead they took earlier in the half, but Marist did make it a close game multiple times. They turned a nine-point deficit at the 11:15 mark into a one-point deficit at the 9:09 mark. Then after Manhattan opened an eight-point lead with 4:02 on the clock, Marist cut it to three with 31 seconds left. Marist closed out the half only trailing 29-26.
Marist had a lot of missed chances in the first half. Although they outrebounded Manhattan 22 to 10 and had both a better field goal percentage (45 percent to 37 percent) and three-point field goal percentage (60 percent to 42.9 percent), they still ended up being the team that trailed.
The Jaspers did not come out in the second half and dominate, but they did keep things under control for the first nine minutes and 18 seconds. They led by as much as eight at two separate points and led by more than two for all but 30 seconds during this time.
Ryan Funk helped shift the momentum in the favor of Marist with a three-pointer at the 10:41 mark which made it a 43-41 Manhattan lead. While Waterman responded with a layup, Brian Parker made it a one-point game with a three at the 9:32 mark and Connor McClenaghan gave Marist the lead with a three at the 7:00 mark.
Over the next four minutes and four seconds, the lead changed five times. Manhattan took hold of the lead with 2:56 left with a three-pointer by Thomas Capuano and they expanded it to a five-point lead with 1:33 left on the clock.
With nine seconds left and Manhattan up by one, Aleksandar Dozic fouled Williams, giving him two foul shot opportunities. He missed the first, but made the second to give Manhattan a two-point lead.
However, it was not a lead they would hold onto as Funk made a three-pointer with less than a second on the clock to give Marist a 60-59 lead. Two free throws by David Knudsen would wrap up a 62-59 Marist victory.
“It’s frustrating to beat yourself,” said Masiello. “Self-inflicted wounds…that frustrates me.”
The script flipped in the second half as Manhattan was the team with more rebounds (19 to 14), a better field goal percentage (50 percent to 37.9 percent) and a better three-point field goal percentage (50 percent to 36.8 percent). Like Marist in the first half, Manhattan was the team that was outscored in the second half despite getting more rebounds and shooting more efficiently.
“I’ll watch tape and see, but from from my viewpoint I thought we competed and played hard,” said Masiello. “We just didn’t execute and do things we needed to win.”
The Jaspers started off MAAC play by winning four of their first six games, but they’ve been a downward trend since. However, when asked if there is any one thing that may be causing this trend, Masiello kept things in perspective.
“It’s college basketball,” said Masiello. “It’s cyclical. You got to stay with it. You can’t break down, you can’t get high when you’re doing well and you can’t get too down when you’re doing bad.”
Despite the loss, Williams and Waterman both turned in solid performances. Williams finished with 19 points (seventh most this season), six rebounds (tied for fourth most this season), one assist and two steals. Waterman ended with 17 points (tied for fourth most this season), eight rebounds (tied for sixth most this season), one assist and one steal.
“There were things that we should’ve done tonight that we didn’t do that I was disappointed in,” said Masiello. “But I think we did some things well so you always want to take positives and negatives and learn from both.”