Jaspers Wake Up for a Win Against Saint Peters

Nick Brennan scores a three-pointer at the game, Sunday, Feb. 12. @GOJASPERS/ COURTESY

By Brooke DellaRocco, Staff Writer

The Manhattan College men’s basketball team stepped out on the court with an unexpected fire and hunger for a win against Saint Peters, with the final score coming to 68-52. The Jaspers had grabbed a much-needed victory late in their season. 

The team started off slowly with Saint Peters scoring the first basket of the night and taking the lead ahead of the Jaspers. The Jaspers quickly switched their attention to defense, with Josh Roberts stealing the first defensive rebound for the Jaspers. 

After being tied up for a minute and 24 seconds, Marques Watson came through with an assist to help Logan Padgett make the three-pointer and put the Jaspers ahead for what would be the rest of the game. Their supreme focus on their defensive outlook and numerous rebounds put them stringing Saint Peters along 28-14 by the end of the first half. 

“I think we just, you know, we know rebound has been kind of hurting us,” Interim Head Coach RaShawn Stores said. “So we just put a focus on that and just being connected defensively and offensively.”

Josh Roberts certainly pulled through with this ideal, grabbing the first rebound of the second half, and allowing Watson to score a layup while also supplying over 16 rebounds for the entire match. 

The rest of the game consisted of a new level of confidence from the players as they kept a defensive hold on Saint Peters. With 1:28 on the clock and a score of 67-47, Stores took his starters out and subbed in Matthew Glassman, Aryan Arora, Adam Walden, and Daniel Hackett to finish it out. The match ended with a predetermined win of 68-52.

Leading the Jaspers to a victory was Nick Brennan, who scored 12 points at Sunday’s match. Marques Watson and Ant Nelson came in just below with 11 points. After the win, Brennan spoke about the way he wants to continue this season in order to have more satisfying games.

“We’ve realized as a team that defense is the way we’re gonna win,” Brennan said. “We know we’re talented enough offensively and our coaching staff gives us the right game plan defensively, so really, as long as we follow it and communicate with each other, we’re in a good position to win.” 

Looking toward the end of the season, there is a lot riding on these upcoming games for the players and coaches. Stores talked about his hopes for the team, as the MAAC tournament slowly creeps up on the team.

“Well, we want to go out and have some fun and go out with a bang,” Stores said. “But you know, your goal is to win a championship when you start the year. That’s always going to be the goal. But with that being said, these young men go out and finish off something special. You know, I think from how the year started to where we are now, they continue to build and face adversity as young men and that will prepare them for life after playing basketball as well.”

With the year grinding to a close, and a lot of fifth-year seniors still left on the court, it is apparent that these are the last couple of games for a lot of dominating players. Nelson, one of the students finishing his fifth year at Manhattan, had a lot to say about how he viewed these last moments. 

“It’s just trying to enjoy this time with my teammates, enjoy winning, enjoy getting better and just taking everything in,” Nelson said. “We really only have six games left plus the playoffs, so time has gone by fast. It’s kind of sad.”

Stores added to this comment, speaking to his relationship with the players. 

“Yeah, it’s more than sad,” Stores said. “You’re gonna lose some great young men. They mean a lot to me.”

With only a couple more games left, MC has a lot of fire left to give and hopes to continue their positive outlook and push their defense even more.