(Photos by Gary Quintal)
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JANUARY 6- Although the Manhattan Jaspers (11-2, 4-0) are undefeated in all eight games they have played away from their home arena, Draddy Gymnasium, they easily defeated the Fairfield Stags (3-11, 0-4), 83-57, at home on Saturday evening.
A layup by Manhattan’s star scorer George Beamon at 15:28 gave the Jaspers an early 11-2 advantage. A three by Rich Williams raised the lead of the Jaspers to double figures for the first time in the game, 21-11, at 11:53. The visitors cut the lead to six, 24-18, at 9:01, but the Jaspers kept a double digit advantage during the final four minutes of the first period. They led 43-28 at the half.
Manhattan shot at a hefty 54.5 precent while holding the Stags to only 30.6 precent during the half. Beamon led all scorers with 15 points. The three Manhattan seniors, Beamon, Rhamel Brown and Michael Alvarado, accounted for 29 of their team’s 43 points.
The teams played evenly during the first seven minutes of the second half with the score 53-39 in Manhattan’s favor. At that point, the Jaspers scored 12 unanswered points to raise their lead to 65-39 with 9:16 on the clock. The lead held to the end as Manhattan was victorious by a score of 83-57.
Manhattan players shot a healthy 50 precent from the floor (23 for 46) and from beyond the arc (8 for 16) during the one-sided encounter. Fairfield’s advantage in offensive rebounding, 14-5, allowed them 15 more shots than the jaspers, but the differential in shooting percentage between the teams nullified the advantage of the visitors.
Another Manhattan benefit was being able to visit the charity stripe for 29 shots while the Stags only took 12 free throws. Beamon led in scoring with 19 points, raising his career total as a Jasper to 1,531, 7th place in team career points. Beamon is one of only seven NCAA players this season who averages 20 points and 7 rebounds per game.
The other two Manhattan seniors are nearing the 1,000 point total at the college. Brown’s 12 points gave him 960 and Alvarado’s 8 brought him to 940. Both should reach the milestone of 1,000 this season. Rich Williams netted 14 in only 18 minutes of action.
The Jaspers have won all eight games they played since dropping a 79-75 game to their Bronx rivals, the Fordham Rams, on November 26.
Even more importantly, they have won all four of the conference games in the MAAC, putting them at the top of the standings.
After a road contest, the Jaspers will return to Draddy on January 12 to face Marist, another conference foe.