|Jaspers Slide Past Seahawks, 77-72|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Visiting Manhattan overcame a sluggish start to stay unbeaten on the road with a 77-72 victory over UNCW in a non-conference men’s college basketball matinee Sunday at Trask Coliseum.
The Jaspers improved to 7-2 overall and 6-0 away from home with their fourth consecutive victory. Manhattan, a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), concludes a two-game swing below the Mason-Dixon line with a Tuesday matchup at South Carolina.
The Seahawks had their two-game winning streak snapped and stand 6-6 on the season going into next Saturday’s 2 p.m. home clash with former Colonial Athletic Association rival Old Dominion.
“Manhattan is a very good basketball team and (George) Beamon came up big when they needed it,” said fourth-year UNCW Head Coach Buzz Peterson. “We got out to the early lead and couldn’t sustain it. Give them credit for hanging in there and doing what they had to do to get the road win.”
Beamon, a senior guard, struggled early before regrouping and leading all scorers with 23 points for the Jaspers, including several key buckets down the stretch. MC’s top point producer went 7-of-16 from the floor and 8-of-9 at the free throw line for his game-high total. Senior forward Rhamel Brown added 16 points and junior forward Emmy Adujar had 10 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
Junior forward Cedrick Williams paced the Seahawks for the seventh time this season with 18 points and 14 rebounds for his first double-double of the campaign and third of his career. Junior guard Addison Spruill chipped in 15 points and junior guard Freddie Jackson and senior guard Tanner Milson scored 11 apiece to give UNCW four in double figures.
Both teams shot 48 percent from the floor, but erratic free throw shooting hurt the Seahawks, who went 17-of-28 at the free throw stripe. Manhattan didn’t fare much better, connecting on 24-of-38 of its free throws for 63.2 percent.
Manhattan bounced back from a cold start to lead, 34-30, at intermission and started fast in the second half to build a 10-point advantage. Still up 36-34 with just over 18 minutes remaining, the Jaspers reeled off eight straight points to game some much-needed separation.
The slippery Beamon ducked inside for a layup and added a free throw at the 16:16 mark to extend the margin to 44-34.
The Seahawks then closed to five points, 48-43, on a baseline jumper by Spruill at 12:37 before the Jaspers went on another spurt, ignited once again by Beamon. The Roslyn, N.Y., guard converted both ends of a bonus situation to get the score back to 56-46 with 10:19 on the clock.
Milson pulled the Seahawks within four points twice in the final five minutes on a pair of three-pointers, but Manhattan responded to win for the first time in Wilmington. The Seahawks never led in the second half.
UNCW made its first six field goal attempts of the contest and jumped out to a 13-3 advantage before the New Yorkers caught their breath. Senior forward Shane Reybold provided the spark early for the Seahawks and his putback of his own shot gave UNCW a 13-3 cushion at 15:42.
Beamon, a slender 6-4 shooter, finally got on the board with a pair of free throws on the next possession at 15:33 and his follow-up with 10:19 left in the opening period closed the gap to 19-14.
The Jaspers used a 10-2 run to get within, 21-18, on reserve guard Tyler Wilson’s two free throws and Michael Alvarado grabbed a rebound and raced coast-to-coast for a layup to tie the score at 25-all with 6:13 left in the first period.
Manhattan grabbed its first lead of the game on a triple by Beamon with 5:30 left in the first half and the Jaspers took a four-point edge, 34-30, into the break.
UNCW closes out a three-game homestand next Saturday, Dec. 21, when ODU comes to Wilmington for another afternoon tip-off.
GAME NOTES: Manhattan now leads the series by a 3-1 margin…The Jaspers have won two straight over the Seahawks…The teams battled to a 34-all draw on the boards…UNCW had nine of its 15 turnovers in the second half…Reybold left the game with an injury early in the second half and did not return…There were 48 personal fouls whistled in the contest…Both teams went 5-of-14 behind the arc…Manhattan scored 38 of its 77 points in the paint…The Jaspers became the seventh team to reach 70 points this season against the Seahawks…Williams added four blocks to his complete stat line…Junior forward Luke Hager returned after missing two games with an injury and contributed six points and five rebounds in 18 minutes…The game was a return matchup from a BracketBusters date played two years ago in Riverdale, N.Y.