Around the MAAC: Opening Weekend a Failure for Most of the Conference

Ari KramerSenior Analyst IINovember 16, 2008

The MAAC's hyped Siena Saints have not played their first game yet, and won't until tomorrow night, but every other MAAC team has played.

Manhattan, Iona, and Niagara were the only MAAC teams that were victorious in the first weekend of the college basketball season.

The Jaspers were sloppy against N.J.I.T. but were not as terrible as their opponent and were able to prevail 56-32. Chris Smith and Herve Banogle were the bright spots in Manhattan's victory in Newark. Smith scored 16 points, and Banogle grabbed 10 rebounds.

Kevin Willard's Gaels were not better than Manhattan but shot a mediocre 42.6 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from the charity stripe in a 59-46 win at home against Hampton. Fifth-year senior Gary Springer had 22 points, seven rebounds, and a block. Rashon Dwight dished out five assists.

Junior guard Tyrone Lewis filled up the stat sheet with 20 points, six assists, four rebounds, four treys, four steals, and eight blocks, as Niagara defeated Towson, 79-62.

UConn transfer Rob Garrison was impressive in his debut at the Gallagher Center. The senior guard recorded 14 points and seven assists. Senior Benson Egemonye posted his first double-double of the season with 14 points and 16 rebounds.

As a team, Niagara shot poorly from the field (37.5 percent) and the charity stripe (46.4 percent), but their 54 rebounds helped to secure the victory.

Ryan Thompson scored 19 points in his first collegiate game without his brother in uniform, but Rider shot 35 percent from the floor en route to a 69-57 loss at Saint Joseph's. The Hawks' senior forward Ahmad Nivins posed a huge problem for the Broncs. He scored 25 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and blocked four Broncs' shots.

The new-look Red Foxes of Marist shot 33.3 percent from the field, were out-rebounded by eight, blocked 16 times, and recorded 25 fouls, yet they only lost by two at Rutgers. Lawrence Williams and David Devezin were the lone bright spots on Friday night.

Wesley Jenkins scored an impressive 25 points, but Saint Peter's got humiliated by Lehigh on their own court. The Mountain Hawks preyed on the Peacocks and won 79-62.

Canisius' 29 turnovers was the difference in their 56-46 loss at Akron. There were no standout performances by any Golden Griffin, but Frank Turner scored 12 points on 6-10 shooting.

Despite shooting 50 percent from the floor, Fairfield was routed by Memphis, 90-63. Warren Edney scored 24 points, and Jonathan Han had 18 points and seven assists but turned the ball over 12 times.

Isaac Reid, Brett Harvey, Tony Lewis, Brian Rudolph, and Providence transfer Jamal Barney were all in double figures in Loyola's loss against Mount Saint Mary's. The Mountaineers were picked to finish first in the Northeast Conference, but Jimmy Patsos' Greyhounds should have been able to meet the challenge at home. An 84-76 loss at the Reitz Arena was a disappointment for Loyola fans.

The Greyhounds didn't play much better today against Tennessee State. Brett Harvey scored an impressive 34 points, including six three-pointers, in the 73-70 win. The Tigers were coming off a 93-85 loss against non-division I opponent Cumberland. A loss by the Greyhounds would have been an embarrassment to the MAAC.


Upcoming games worth tracking

November 17: Loyola at Boston College

November 19: Niagara at Villanova

November 20: Fairfield at Virginia Tech

November 21: Iona vs. Wisconsin

November 22: Manhattan at Fordham, Cornell vs. Siena