Manhattan-Stony Brook: Jaspers Win 3rd Straight BracketBuster Behind Brutus
Jasper fans got their second victory in three games—a rare experience during the Barry Rohrssen era.
Manhattan (6-22, 3-13 MAAC) traveled to Stony Brook on Saturday for a game misleadingly named a "Bracket Buster." Essentially, this game was meaningless on both sides. The Seawolves (11-16, 6-8 A-East) picked up their second consecutive defeat in the loss to Manhattan.
To open the game, Manhattan was in control. The Jaspers led 10-4 four minutes into the game, but eight unanswered points by Stony Brook gave the Seawolves a lead.
The game stayed close late into the first half, but a 10-4 Stony Brook run gave the Seawolves the 31-25 halftime lead.
Stony Brook continued to control the game early in the second half, widening the lead to as many as 11 points on a three-point play from Anthony Mayo with 10:37 remaining.
A late offensive run, spark by Kidani Brutus and George Beamon, tied the game at 55 with 1:54 to play in regulation. Bryan Dougher put the Seawolves back on top with a jumper with 44 seconds left, but Beamon's runner off the glass in the final half-minute forced overtime.
In the extra period, Stony Brook scored the first four points. The Jaspers had no offense for the first three minutes of the overtime.
Should Manhattan head coach Barry Rohrssen be fired after this season?
However, the offense was sparked once more on a Brutus three-pointer, his sixth of the game. Followed by a Demetrius Jemison free throw and then another Brutus three-pointer, the Jaspers held a three-point lead with one minute to play.
However, Stony Brook was not dead.
A foul on an attempted three-pointer by Marcus Rouse put the sophomore on the line. He would hit two of the free throws to pull Stony Brook back within one point.
After Manhattan failed to score on its final offensive possession of the game, the Seawolves controlled the ball with 10 seconds left, trailing 64-63. They put the ball in the hands of their star guard Dougher, but his attempted game-winner rimmed out.
For Manhattan, Brutus and Beamon were the true leaders. The junior and sophomore, respectively, combined for 48 of the Jaspers' 64 points.
Brutus led the team with 25 points on 9-for-11 shooting. The junior college transfer made a career-high seven three-pointers. He has now hit 15 three-pointers in his last three games.
Beamon remains red hot as the No. 3 scorer in the MAAC. The sophomore from Roslyn, NY scored more than 20 points for the third straight game. In the last three games, Beamon is averaging 26.3 PPG.
Michael Alvarado and Jemison both contributed mediocre performances. Jemison struggled on offense, scoring seven points on 3-for-10 shooting, but he was a force on the glass with 11 rebounds.
Alvarado also shot 3-for-10 from the field, but he scored eight points and dished out five assists. The freshman's playing time had been limited the previous few games, but he played 35 of 45 minutes on Saturday.
As great as this win might seem to some Jasper fans, it is really nowhere near anything special. Just the fact that Manhattan played a team like Stony Brook in the annual Bracket Buster game shows how Barry Rohrssen has let this program decay.
The Jaspers will stay on the road to finish this season, playing their final two regular season games in western New York against Canisius and Niagara. Manhattan will still be playing for seeding in the MAAC Tournament. The Jaspers can finish as high as eighth place and as low as last place.
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