Jaspers Win at Title IX Anniversary Game

Marianne Reilly (second from left) is honored by Brother Daniel, Vanessa Gibson and Brother Jasper for being a “trailblazer” for women in athletics. MANHATTAN.EDU/COURTESY

By: Caroline McCarthy, Senior Writer

The Jaspers earned a hard-fought 53-46 win over the Fairfield Stags at this Thursday’s match, honoring the 50th anniversary of the Title IX legislation. 

This game concludes the Jaspers’ regular-season series with Fairfield. At their last meet on January 9th, the Stags took a mere two-point victory off of a quick transition layup in the final 20 seconds to beat the Jaspers 52-50. 

The Jaspers came back to dominate the Stags for the majority of play on Thursday night. Eight different Jaspers put up points in the opening quarter to earn the Jaspers a 16-12 lead. Bella Nascimento earned the most points for the Jaspers on Thursday with 14 total points, with four in the first quarter. 

The Jaspers kept their lead in the second quarter, leading the Stags 24-14 at half. 

Dee Dee Davis came out forcefully and earned the Jaspers their first five points in the latter half of the game. The Stags had a short run that brought them within five points (33-27) of the Jaspers, but Manhattan kept their steady lead at 39-30 at the end of the third quarter. 

Fairfield’s Kate Peek brought the Stags close to a come-back with three three-point shots, bringing them within two points of the Jaspers at 41-39. The Game finished at 53-46 in favor of the Jaspers. 

“We did a phenomenal job offensive rebounding, but we have to convert at a higher rate, and today I thought we did,” head coach Heather Vulin said postgame. “ I also thought having Petra [Juric] back in the lineup was a huge boost for everybody.” 

Jade Blagrove finished with 10 rebounds, earning her fifth double-digit rebound performance of the season and second in three games. Leyla Ozturk earned four points, four blocked shots and five rebounds. 

“I think it’s all a team effort,” Ozturk said. “Before the game, we talked about playing for the person next to us, and I played for my teammates, and so did everyone else.”

To honor the 50th anniversary of Title IX, Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson joined the Jaspers for the game. Gibson, the first female to hold the title of Bronx Borough President, spoke to female athlete representatives from each team about passion, integrity and perseverance. 

“I could’ve been a motivational speaker,” she joked with the student-athletes after expressing the need to live with purpose, and to not let anyone take that purpose away from you. 

Title IX, passed in 1972, prohibited the discrimination of women in educational programs receiving federal financial assistance, including athletics. 

Marianne Reilly ‘82, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Manhattan College, was honored by Gibson and President Daniel Gardner at halftime of Thursday’s game for being a “trailblazer” for female athletes.

Reilly was a member of the first varsity women’s basketball team at Manhattan College and is one of the few women to hold an athletic director position in NCAA Division I. She was also the first female inducted into Manhattan’s athletic Hall of Fame in 1992 for her career at MC, including being the first 1,000 point scorer in school history. 

“It is wonderful to see first hand the impact that Title IX has had in breaking down barriers and providing opportunities for our former and current student-athletes, coaches and administrators,” Reilly said. “Now we have to prepare to keep Title IX relevant and moving forward for the next 50 years.”