Manhattan-Morgan State: Antoine Pearson Provides Big Shot in Jaspers Home Opener

Michael HurleyContributor INovember 19, 2008

Antoine Pearson's only field goal last night turned out to be the biggest in the game.

Devon Austin grabbed a defensive rebound off the front end of a one and one from Reggie Holmes. He found a cutting Darryl Crawford, who sliced his way up the middle of the court.  The defender committed and Crawford dished the ball off to Antoine Pearson filling the left lane.

Pearson then did a beautiful up and under move for the game-winning basket with nine seconds left.

The second half was back and forth the entire way.  It featured eight lead changes and five ties.  Morgan State went ahead 60-58 on a Kevin Thompson basket with 49 seconds left.  Manhattan had a chance to tie, but Andrew Gabriel missed the back end of a one and one, setting up Pearson's heroics.

Chris Smith finished with a game-high 14 points, seven of which came in the first two minutes of the second half, when it looked like Manhattan might pull away.  Crawford and Austin also finished in double digits with 12 and 11. 

On a night when Austin's touch from outside seemed to have escaped him, he got big in the second half and played inside while also collecting six rebounds.  Andrew Gabriel also had a good game off the bench scoring nine points, four of which came during a 13-0 run late in the second half, turning a six-point deficit into a seven-point lead.

Defensively Manhattan did a great job on the Morgan State Bears, who will be one of the tougher opponents to come through Draddy Gym this year. The Jaspers would pressure the Bears' ball handlers throughout the game. 

Herve Banogle played a great game inside, holding Preseason All-MEAC forward Marquise Kately to only nine points on 3-9 shooting, and had a huge block at the end of the first half to take Manhattan to the locker room.