It is pretty embarrassing when there are more Siena fans at a game being played at Manhattan. However, the embarrassment pays off when you get to watch all of them leave in disappointment.
Manhattan (5-21, 3-12 MAAC) set the tone early with a 14-2 run in the first six minutes. Clarence Jackson got Siena (10-15, 7-8 MAAC) going and the Saints managed to cut the Manhattan lead down to two points with six minutes left in the first half.
Manhattan upped the lead to 33-26 on George Beamon's three-point play in the final seconds of the first half.
Manhattan came out strong to start the second half. A red hot Beamon scored 11 points in a 16-7 run by the Jaspers.
The Jaspers continued to push the lead all the way up to 18 points on a pair of Beamon free throws with just over six minutes remaining.
However, trailing 70-55 with less than five minutes left, Siena made its move. A 6-0 Saints run cut the lead down to nine points.
After a few possessions of trading baskets, Siena cut the lead down to three points on a Kyle Downey three-pointer with 35 seconds remaining in the game.
Manhattan junior Kidani Brutus then split a pair of free throws. Trailing by four points, Jackson's third and final three-pointer of the game cut the Jasper lead to 82-81.
Manhattan left the door wide open with Demetrius Jemison missing a pair of free throws. However, sophomore O.D. Anosike grabbed the rebound and looked for Downey for the outlet pass. Anosike's pass went off of Downey's hands and into the hands of Manhattan's Mohamed Koita.
Taking advantage of a big break, Brutus went back to the line and made a pair of free throws.
In need of a defensive stand, Manhattan came through. Although poor rebounding gave Siena three chances at a game-winning shot, the Saints never got off a clean look to tie the game, giving Manhattan the 84-81 victory.
Out of all of Manhattan's games this year, this one showed the most positives. Not only did the Jaspers put up good numbers, but they also played a smart game.
The Jaspers had their best offensive showing of the game, beating the team's previous high of 80 points. They also shot a very strong 50.9 percent from the field.
Brutus put up good numbers. The junior scored a career-high 20 points and tied a career-high of five three-pointers. Brutus got to the line and made his shots count, making 5-of-6 free throws.
Demetrius Jemison and Rhamel Brown put together solid performances. Jemison had eight points and nine rebounds while also dishing out four assists.
Brown spent part of the game in foul trouble, but the made his 23 minutes count. He scored four points on 2-for-2 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. The freshman, who entered the day at No. 35 in the nation in blocked shots, swatted two of Siena's shots.
Beamon was obviously the best part of Sunday's game. With a career-high 35 points, Beamon followed up a strong performance against Fairfield on Friday when he posted a career-high seven assists. Beamon shot 12-for-19 from the field and hit his first three-pointer since December 11 against Binghamton.
The Jaspers' coaching was also better than usual, although nothing special. The Manhattan offense was much more lively and Rohrssen actually ran some plays for his players.
For Siena, Jonathan Breeden led with 20 points. In his last two games, the freshman has scored a total of 44 points.
Ryan Rossiter and O.D. Anosike each had double-doubles for the Saints. Rossiter had 19 points, with 13 coming in the second half, and 15 rebounds. Anosike had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Jaspers will be back in action on Wednesday against Iona for senior night. After the game against Iona, they will play three road games before heading to Connecticut for the MAAC Tournament.
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