Draddy Gymnasium remained relatively empty as Manhattan College students enjoyed the final days of their winter break. But there was still a good-sized crowd to greet the Jaspers, who were returning home following an upset win at Iona, in a 72-53 victory over Siena on Saturday.
Manhattan (12-7, 5-2 MAAC) came out flat, shooting 1-of-6 from three-point range and committing nine turnovers in the first nine minutes.
Siena (8-9, 3-4) also struggled early on, but the Saints hit a few jump shots to get separation.
The Jaspers would go down by as many as five on a jumper by O.D. Anosike, the nation's leading rebounder. But they then turned on the heat to take a 28-27 halftime lead on George Beamon's three-pointer with nine seconds left.
Manhattan, which has outscored its opponent in the second in 12 of 19 games this year, opened up the half on a 18-6 run. During that stretch, Beamon scored five points while Rhamel Brown scored all six of his points.
Siena couldn't buy a bucket in the paint, and their three-pointers that had fallen in the first half were not dropping in the second half.
The Jaspers would stretch their lead to as many as 24 points on back-to-back treys from senior Kidani Brutus and freshman Donovan Kates.
Manhattan ultimately won 72-53, ending Siena's three-game winning streak.
The Jaspers conditioning once again played a huge part in their win.
Siena played six players for the majority of the game. Although the Saints stuck right with the Jaspers for the first 20 minutes, they already looked exhausted during second half warmups. At that point, they were just going through the motions.
Meanwhile, Manhattan was able to keep its foot on the gas through the final buzzer.
But also it was the Saints' inability to shoot the three-ball that put them at such a disadvantage. They are the worst three-point shooting team in the MAAC and No. 308 in D-I at 29.3 percent.
Manhattan opponents have thrived against the Jaspers' 2-3 zone by draining treys. However, Siena struggled after a hot start from beyond the arc, finishing 4-of-18 from long distance.
Anosike led Siena with 16 points and 16 rebounds, marking his thirteenth consecutive game with a double-double. In the last 15 years, Tim Duncan is the only D-I player to have a double-double in 15 straight games.
Owen Wignot added seven points while Kyle Downey, Evan Hymes, and Rob Poole added six apiece.
Hymes, who ranks No. 2 among MAAC freshmen in scoring, clearly had an off-night. He missed a few easy chances at the rim and was clearly frustrated throughout the night, ending up shooting 2-of-10 from the field and committing six turnovers.
Beamon led Manhattan with 24 points, his second straight 20-point outing. The junior has now scored in double figures in each of his last 33 games. He is starting to make a case for MAAC Player of the Year, averaging 18.7 points per game and 5.6 rebounds per game in conference play.
Brutus was the only other Jasper in to score in double digits with 14 points on four three-pointers.
Brown turned in six points and three blocks while sophomore Michael Alvarado dished out nine assists.
Manhattan's next game will be at Marist (7-10, 2-4 MAAC), which is in the midst of a three-game losing streak.
Follow Jesse Kramer on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer for more college basketball news and information.
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