by John Jackson, Senior Writer
WBB: Manhattan 51, Marist 62
WBB: Manhattan 62, St. Peterís 44
The Lady Jaspers played one game at home and one game on the road during the week of Feb. 4-Feb. 10.
In the first game on Feb. 7 against Marist, their three-game winning streak was snapped as the Red Foxes beat them 62-51 in Draddy Gymnasium. However, the Jaspers bounced back on the road and started a new winning streak on Feb. 9 against St. Peter’s with a 62-44 victory.
Manhattan had a tough opponent in their first matchup against Marist. The Red Foxes came in 16-7 overall and 8-3 in the MAAC with two of the top-five scorers in the MAAC in juniors Rebekah Hand and Alana Gilmer.
The Jaspers got off to a quick start against the Red Foxes as they took a 5-3 lead in the first 1:36 of the game. From there they started building until they led by a game-high 11 points with eight seconds left in the quarter. The Jaspers then finished the first quarter with a respectable 20-10 lead against the Red Foxes.
Marist did not let a tough first quarter get the best of them, however. They dominated in the second quarter and outscored the Jaspers by 21-2 to replace a 10-point deficit with a nine-point lead.
“I thought first quarter, we were tremendous. We were up 10,” Head coach Heather Vulin said in a postgame interview with Go Jaspers “Second quarter was the difference of the game. I felt like we settled for some shots instead of being more aggressive.”
As noted by Vulin, the damage done by Marist in the second quarter was irreversible. Although Manhattan started the third quarter out by cutting their 31-22 deficit into a 31-25 deficit, Marist continued to build a lead and maintained it for the rest of the game.
By the 5:03 mark, Marist took a 15-point lead on a layup from junior Grace Vander Weide; their biggest lead of the game. The third quarter ended with Marist up by 12 points with a 46-34 lead.
Manhattan played them close in the fourth and outscored them 17-16 in those 10 minutes. However, the big lead that the Red Foxes built earlier in the game allowed them to ease their way to a 62-51 victory.
“I thought the third and fourth quarter were great quarters, but we really just dug ourselves a hole,” Vulin said in her interview with Go Jaspers.
In the end, it was Hand and Vander Weide who led the Red Foxes. Hand had a double-double as she scored 21 points accompanied by 10 boards. Vander Weide had a respectable 12 points to go along with five rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block.
Manhattan’s offense was also heavily carried by a couple of players. Sophomore Lynette Taitt recorded 12 points, two boards, three assists and one steal. It was the fourth-straight game in which she had double-digit points. Davis ended her day with a career-high 20 points accompanied by two rebounds, two assists and two steals.
“The big thing for us is that we got to play 40 minutes,” Vulin said in her interview with Go Jaspers. “We have shown when we play 40 minutes, we’re gonna win. We play 30 minutes and we show that it’s gonna be competitive, it’s gonna be close, but we’re not good enough where we can only show up for 30 minutes. So the big thing we gotta just take away is that it’s a 40 minute game and we got to have the maturity to play for 40 minutes.”
Two days later, the Jaspers played for all 40 minutes.
In the Jaspers’ first road game of February, they headed down to Jersey City, New Jersey to take on the 6-15 (1-9 MAAC) St. Peter’s Peacocks.
Freshman Sydney Watkins started things off for the Jaspers with a three-pointer 1:03 into the game. With 6:06 remaining, the Jaspers took a 12-4 lead. Manhattan stayed in the lead for most of the first until the Peacocks went on a 7-0 run from the 0:46 mark until the conclusion of the quarter to take an 18-16 lead.
Watkins helped Manhattan regain the lead with another three at the 8:25 mark. The Peacocks took one more lead before Davis’ layup with 6:24 remaining gave them a lead they would not relinquish. By halftime, the Jaspers held a 30-26 lead.
The third quarter was a back-and-forth battle which resulted in the Jaspers outscoring the Peacocks by 13-10 to increase their four-point lead to seven points.
Manhattan saved their best for last, however. After a layup by St. Peter’s junior Zoe Pero and a successful three-point play by freshman Cinnamon Dockery, the Jaspers went on a torrid 19-3 run to conclude the game with a 62-44 victory.
Junior Courtney Warley led the Jasper offense with a double-double which included 11 boards and a career-high 20 points. She also added two assists, four steals and four blocks. Her four blocks gave her 72 for her career which is good for ninth best all-time in program history.
The Jaspers now stand at 7-15 overall on the season and 5-6 in the MAAC. While on the surface their record may not look great, they have turned their season around in their last five games by going 4-1 in conference play.
There are seven games left to play until the MAAC Tournament in Albany and the Jaspers now have a chance to get decent seeding for the first round. If they manage to win five or more of their remaining games, they even have a chance for a first-round bye. With only three weeks left in the regular season, every game is meaningful.
The women are back in action on the road on Tuesday, Feb. 12 when they play Monmouth at 7:00 p.m.