By, Isaiah Rosario, Staff Writer
Jasper basketball is back! Men and women’s basketball made their season debut on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at Manhattan College’s home court. Men’s basketball returned to Draddy Gymnasium after a 7-13 2020-21 season. The Jaspers are looking for a fresh start after their under .500 season last year with their home opener versus the Manhattanville Valiants. The Jaspers started the game hot with a 14-6 run less than five minutes into the game. The defense for the Jaspers came out running, allowing only 12 points 10 minutes into the first half.
Manhattanville went scoreless for about five minutes from the 11th minute in the first half to the sixth minute and allowed Manhattan to extend their lead to 25 points. The Jaspers dominated the first half with a score of 54-19 at the buzzer. The Jaspers shot the ball 63.6 percent whereas Manhattan held Manhattanville to shooting at 29.6 percent because of the stellar defense of the Jaspers. Leading scorers for the Jaspers Anthony Nelson and Sambo Diallo both had eight points at the end of the half.
Josh Roberts opened up the second half with an emphatic put-back dunk to put the Jaspers up 34 points. As the quarter continued, the Jaspers extended their lead over Manhattanville with ball movement, and defense from every player that stepped on the court. Manhattan’s largest lead of the game was 59 points. This game was absolute domination from the Jaspers from the minute the game took place. The final score of the game was 99-42.
Two hours later the women’s team took the court for their long-awaited return to Draddy after an 11-9 2020- 2021 season. The Jaspers played St. Francis Brooklyn in their home opener. The women seemed the have the same mentality as the men by showcasing their defense by only allowing 1 point four minutes into the game. The Jaspers were up 10-1 when both teams fell into a dry spell until forward Fruzsina Horvath of St. Francis broke the scoreless run with a baseline jump shot, making the score 3-10.
The Jaspers came out shooting in the second quarter. Brazil Harvey-Carr started outside the key and drove in to hit an elbow jump shot to put the Jaspers ahead at 15-6. As the 2nd quarter went on there was a feeling in the gymnasium where the defense was declining because of how the Jaspers and the Terriers were trading buckets back and forth to make the score 30-19 at the half.
The atmosphere was electric at Draddy by this point in the same. Everyone in the gym was able to tell that this game quite possibly could go down to the wire. The goal of the Manhattan College crowd was to make sure that the Sixth Borough was loud and present.
The leading scorers for the Terriers were Fruzsina Horvath with seven points, and for the Jaspers, Dee Dee Davis with nine points. Though in the lead, the Jaspers had 19 turnovers compared to the 9 from St. Francis. The defense was prevalent for the Jaspers as they held the Terriers to 26.7% shooting.
The Jaspers began the second half with a quick drive from Emily LaPointe. Back-to-back three’s from the Terriers’ Alyssa Fisher made it a six-point game with just under seven minutes left. Isabella Posset of the Terriers made it a three-point game but Emily LaPointe came back with a layup to add a little bit more insurance for the Jaspers.
Forward, Brazil Harvey-Carr spoke about what the mentality was like on the floor when the Terriers were going on the run and cut the lead to five.
“To stay motivated, we had to stay locked in with the five we had out there, to get the game going. We had to trust each other and remain locked in throughout the whole game,” said Harvey-Carr.
Thanks to great offense from the Jaspers they were able to extend their lead to eight heading into the fourth quarter.
Throughout the fourth quarter, the Terriers and the Jaspers were trading buckets. The last 10 minutes of the game were offensive-heavy. The scoring split in the fourth quarter was 28 even. But, the Jaspers pulled out a tough one to get their win of the season with a score of 74-66.
Fast forwarding to Saturday’s game against Army, Guard Dee Dee Davis talked about what is needed to pull out a win versus a difficult Army squad.
“Stopping the ball, this team that we’re playing on Saturday, they do a phenomenal job in transition,” said Davis. “The point guard gets an outlet and she’s just looking to go … in order to beat this team, we need to stop the ball transition. We need to box out and we need to just play our offense flow into our continuities really smoothly and not try to force anything.”
Coach Vulin also spoke about what could be improved upon before Saturday’s match-up with Army.
“We tend to be very good in the half-court,” said Vulin. “ It was our transition defense that we have to do a little bit better job of and the team that we played shot a lot of threes. I felt like we gave up a few o-boards [offensive rebounds] that we shouldn’t have so that that’ll be a point of emphasis for us to get better at,” said Vulin.
Expectations are through the roof within both the locker room and the coach’s office. According to Vulin, the team has ambitious goals to win the regular season title, tournament ti- tle and advance in the NCAA to win at least a first-round game.
“We have a very talented group, we’ve got great length, we also have some great experience with Courtney, Dee Dee and Emily, all three picked for preseason All-MAAC. So I think those are realistic goals and until they show me different in practice I firmly believe we can attain those. So I’m very excited about this group,” Vulin said.
Lead scorer for the Jaspers, Dee Dee Davis told The Quadrangle she believes this team has what it takes to make it to March Madness, mostly because of the element of surprise that comes with an unseen roster.
“The best part about this team this year is we have names on this roster that the rest of the league or no one else for that matter has seen, but we know we can do. So it’s going to be really special. It’s gonna be really surprising. And we’re a really talented group that we’re just gonna rely on our instictiveness to get it done,” Davis said.
Manhattan College is now allowing fans back in Draddy Gymnasium. Some of the precautions taken place are that all guests at indoor competitions must show proof of at least one dose of vaccination with a photo ID when they enter the athletic venue. Fans are also required to show a Manhattan College Green Pass through the college’s visitor Daily Symptom Tracker and wear a mask while in Draddy.
“In my opinion, I feel like the fans were electric … I fed off the energy not only from the Jasper Nation but from my teammates that tagged along on the bench,” said Harvey-Carr. ”It’s not only for the ones that are out there competing, but it’s also all about the coaching staff, the players that are competing and our managers that all together we’re all one family and that I fed on the energy last night.”