Manhattan Looks For First Conference Win Against Canisius

Jesse KramerCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2009

Manhattan did not start conference play exactly the way they had hoped for. 

They stayed close with Niagara for the first 26 minutes of the game, and then fell apart for the final 14.

Niagara, led by Bilal Benn, turned up the heat in the final 14 minutes of play outscoring Manhattan 40-20. Benn scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the Niagara victory.

Manhattan's Antoine Pearson scored 17 on 6 of 12 shooting to lead the Jaspers.

On Sunday, Manhattan (4-3, 0-1) turns their focus to the Canisius Golden Griffins as they finish their Upstate New York trip. 

Canisius (4-2, 1-0) has struggled from beyond the arc this season (26%), Manhattan's biggest defensive weakness. Julius Coles has been their only consistently good three-point shooter. Manhattan must play him tight to keep him from taking over the game from beyond the arc.

Canisius puts up similar numbers to Manhattan. Tomorrow afternoon's match should be an exciting one.

Canisius averages 70 PPG to Manhattan's 67, and both teams average about 36 rebounds a game. 

Both teams have similar field goal percentages. As mentioned before, Canisius only makes 26% of their three-pointers. Manhattan hits almost 34% of theirs.

If Manhattan looks to win tomorrow, they must keep Canisius—especially Julius Coles—from knocking down shots from beyond the arc.

Also, if they want to win, they must make their free throws. Against Niagara, they only hit 15 of 28 free throws. Antoine Pearson, who has been spectacular from the stripe up until his game at Niagara where he made 5 of 11 free throws, must convert his opportunities from the stripe.

Tip-Off: Sunday Dec. 6, 2 PM