This afternoon, Manhattan played its final home game of the 2008-09 season. The Jaspers hosted the Rider Broncs who, heading into the game, stood a game-and-a-half ahead of the Jaspers in third place of the MAAC.
Because it was the final home game, the Jaspers honored seniors Devon Austin and Herve Banogle prior to the tip.
Austin, the last Bobby Gonzalez recruit, played four seasons at Manhattan, but he is currently sidelined with a back injury.
Banogle transferred to Manhattan after spending two seasons at a junior college. In his time in Riverdale, Banogle has matured from a fouling and traveling machine into a potential threat down low, though he still travels...a lot.
After the seniors were honored, the game began. The teams exchanged leads throughout the first half and Manhattan led 35-29 at the break.
Patrick Bouli hit one of his three treys early in the second half to give the Jaspers their biggest lead, 40-31, but Rider climbed back and tied the score at 41.
The Jaspers scored the next six points and appeared to be pulling away, but the Broncs came back again and took a 52-49 lead. The score remained close and Bouli broke a 68-68 tie with his third and final three-pointer of the game with 50 ticks left.
Rider couldn't cash in on second, third, and fourth opportunities on the other end, and Darryl Crawford's two foul shots with four seconds left iced the game.
The Jaspers were victorious on senior day, 73-68.
How Manhattan won:
- Andrew Gabriel has to be commended for his strong play. He drew five of Rider's first six fouls and scored eight points, including a fast break throw-down that gave Manhattan a 45-41 lead and pumped up the crowd.
- The offense was more fluid. Jaspers were setting picks, moving around, and taking high-percentage shots—they shot 47 percent from the floor and 54.5 percent from deep. Ever since being routed by Iona in the Garden, the Jaspers have cut down on shooting three-pointers. Instead of taking treys every other time down the floor, the Jaspers only fire on open-looks.
- Darryl Crawford scored 26 points on 7-for-14 field-goal shooting. Crawford was also 9-of-11 from the foul line and 3-of-3 from long range.
- Laurence Jolicoeur is playing with loads of confidence. After starting the season on the bench, Joli emerged for 10 points in a 19 point victory at Marist which started the Jaspers current hot streak. Manhattan has won four of its last five games and Joli has been in double-figures in each one. Today, he was five-for-seve from the floor and scored 11 points.
- Chris Smith came up big with 11 rebounds. The sophomore, whose brother was far from spectacular in last night's dunk contest, also scored six straight points on a Manhattan run that kept Rider close at hand in the second half.