Saturday night, the Manhattan College Men’s Basketball team trumped MAAC rival Monmouth by a score of 93-76.
The Jaspers were led by senior forward Zane Waterman and senior guard Zavier Turner, who poured in 28 and 25 points respectively. Waterman went for eight rebounds, while Turner added five assists in the team’s win.
While the pair of seniors were responsible for over half of the team’s points, sophomore forward Pauly Paulicap added his second double-double of the season; scoring 10 points while adding 13 rebounds, five of which were on the offensive glass.
After the game, Manhattan’s head coach Steve Masiello was mindful of the effort Monmouth showed in the contest.
“I thought they came in and gave us everything we could handle,” Masiello said. “I don’t think the score was indicative of the game at all.”
After getting off to a strong start, Manhattan fell victim to Monmouth’s double-team defense late in the first half, which allowed the Hawks to stay in the fight heading into half number two. Even after notching 19 first-half points, Waterman understood there were still improvements to be made going into the final 20 minutes.
“The message was really to protect the ball,” Waterman said. “We came in at halftime, and coach got into us a little bit, and I think the final score showed that worked.”
Monmouth was able to carry their momentum into the second half, and led by four with 13:56 left in the game.
The back and forth then ensued, with Monmouth’s Deion Hammond knocking down half of his three-point attempts (4-for-8) in the second half. He was met by Turner, who knocked in four of his five three-point attempts and added 11 points at the line.
The senior was matched up with some of the bigger guards in the conference in Austin Tilghman and Ray Salnave, but was still able to find his shot in key moments of the game.
“Well my advantage is my quickness,” Turner said. “They got to bend to play defense against me, so I try to use that to my advantage.”
An underlying narrative in the game was the crowd’s impact. The Jaspers are known for having a formidable home-court advantage, along with a student section that is highly interactive with the players and coaches on both sides.
After the game, Monmouth’s head coach King Rice was vocal about the way in which the student section treated him in particular, even calling for league action.
“I don’t think people should be able to come to other people’s jobs and say their names out loud,” Rice said. “So I think our league should take a look at some of the things when people say the coach’s name, I don’t know if that’s right.”
Masiello, a close friend of Monmouth’s Rice, was unaware of what was said by the Manhattan student section and was thus reluctant to make a comment on it. Regardless, Masiello offered an apology on behalf of Manhattan’s basketball program, and reinforced the school’s Lasallian principles.
The team is back in action on Thursday, Feb. 15 in Hamden, Conn. against the Bobcats of Quinnipiac.