NEW YORK — It is officially crunch time.
With 2.2 seconds left to inbound the ball and find a shot, Siena got it to Kenny Hasbrouck for a running bank shot that bounced off the rim to preserve a 73-72 Manhattan victory at Draddy Gym on Monday night.
The loss left Siena in a four-way tie for first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference; the Saints, Rider, Loyola and Niagara are all 11-5 with two conference games left, after this weekend’s BracketBuster games.
It was the second straight close loss for the Saints (16-10 overall), following Saturday’s overtime
defeat to Loyola at the Times Union Center.
“If we panic now, the next thing you know, we’ll be in fifth place,” senior guard Tay Fisher said. “We know Rider lost and everything, but we can’t rely on other teams losing. We need to rely on us winning.”
“I’m not hitting the panic button, and our team isn’t hitting the panic button,” said Hasbrouck, who was held to five points on 2-for-11 shooting. “Y’all might be, but we’re not.”
Siena came out of a timeout at :02.2 with Hasbrouck ready to inbound the ball from three-quarters court. Manhattan called a timeout of its own, and when the teams took the floor again, Edwin Ubiles was set up to inbound.
He got it to Hasbrouck in the front court, and the junior guard calmly dribbled and pulled up on the right wing below the free-throw line.
His shot hit the glass, and kicked off the front of the rim.
“I knew we were going to have to get a play where we were driving the ball to the basket,” Siena head coach Fran McCaffery said. “I thought we got a real good look from a real good player.
“I thought they were going to switch [defense], so we changed the play.”
“I saw an open lane,” Hasbrouck said. “There wasn’t enough time to get to the basket, so I was just trying to pull up, and missed the shot. I was open. I was missing all game.”
Pearson scores 20
Antoine Pearson was not missing, however. He finished with 20 points for Manhattan, making six of seven three-pointers.
He made three threes in the final six minutes, including one at the shot-clock buzzer after Devon Austin had air-balled a three-pointer long, and another with just over two minutes left to give the Jaspers (5-11, 11-15) a 69-64 lead.
Ronald Moore answered with a three, and Hasbrouck made one with 1:10 left to cut it to 73-70 after the Jaspers’ Andrew Gabriel, a 42.9 percent free-throw shooter, made two with 1:18 left.
Those proved to be the game-winning points.
Moore scored inside to cut it to 73-72 with 44.5 seconds left.
“A lot of them were broken plays, and we couldn’t get a rebound,” McCaffery said of Pearson’s three-pointers.
Ubiles led Siena with 24 points on 9-for-14 shooting, and Alex Franklin had 17 points and 13 rebounds.
The Saints hurt themselves from the free-throw line, making just nine of 17. They missed their last four in the final four minutes.
“Horrendous,” McCaffery said.
Siena led, 62-58, after Ubiles made a three with 6:45 left. The Saints’ last lead was 64-63 with 4:40 left after Ubiles made two free throws.
“I was driving, and being aggressive,” he said. “That’s how you get buckets.”
The game featured 12 ties and 11 lead changes.
The Jaspers, who lost to Siena, 69-56, have won three straight after an eight-game losing streak.
“We knew this was going to be a different team from the one we played earlier, and they came out and showed it,” Ubiles said.
“We took a lot of punches early in the season, but everybody stayed together,” Manhattan head coach Barry Rohrssen said.
There were four ties and five lead changes in the first half.
Chris Smith’s dunk midway through the half gave Manhattan its biggest lead, 16-8.
Siena chipped away at the lead and tied it at 18-18 after Fisher hit back-to-back three-pointers.
The Saints took a 26-25 lead on a tough bank shot by Ubiles, who scored 10 points in the half, but Austin converted a three-point play to give the Jaspers a
After Franklin made one of two free throws, Manhattan missed two shots just before the buzzer and led, 28-27.
Duell 0-4 0-1 0, Franklin 7-11 3-8 17, Ubiles 9-14 3-4 24, Moore 5-9 1-4 12, Hasbrouck
2-11 0-0 5, De La Rosa 0-2 0-0 0, Fisher 4-6 0-0 12, Rossiter 0-0 0-0 0, Priestley 1-1 0-2 2. Totals: 28-58 7-19 72.
Austin 5-11 1-1 12, Green 3-3 1-3 9, Jolicouer 0-2 0-0 0, Smith 6-14 0-1 13, Pearson 7-11 0-2 20, Bouli 0-2 0-0 0, Gabriel 2-2 2-3 6, Walsh 2-3 0-0 5, Crawford 4-11 0-0 8, Adams 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 29-60 4-10 73.
Halftime: Manhattan 28, Siena 27. Three-point goals: Siena 9-17 (Duell 0-1, Ubiles 3-4, Moore 1-2, Hasbrouck 1-4, Fisher 4-6); Manhattan 11-21 (Austin 1-3, Green 2-2, Jolicouer 0-1, Smith 1-3 Pearson 6-7, Bouli 0-1, Walsh 1-1, Crawford 0-3). Rebounds: Siena 39 (Franklin 13); Manhattan 35 (Smith 12). Assists: Siena 18 (Moore 8); Manhattan 14 (Austin, Crawford 4). Total fouls: Siena 12; Manhattan 18. Attendance: 1,725.