Jacob Iati sparkled in what most likely was his final collegiate game, but two big runs by Manhattan helped the Jaspers clip the University at Albany, 89-79, in the opening round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament Wednesday night at SEFCU Arena.
Iati, a junior with one more year of eligibility, has agreed to become a graduate assistant coach next season, and he poured in 23 points, including 7-for-12 from three-point range. However, both Iati and UAlbany head coach Will Brown said that Iati’s future is still under discussion, and a final decision will be made after Iati and the coaches meet later in the week. UAlbany ends the season at 19-15.
The Jaspers stormed back from a 28-20 deficit in the first half with a 17-2 run to close out the first half with a 37-30 lead. After the Great Danes pulled to within 57-55 midway through the second half, the Jaspers used a 13-0 run to pull out to a 70-55 cushion. The Danes never recovered.
Junior George Beamon led the 21-11 Jaspers with 34 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals, while point guard Michael Alvarado, who missed the last four games with an eye socket injury, added 12 points and five rebounds.
“Obviously, I’m very happy to go on the road and beat a good Albany team,” said Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello. “We were a little flat early because we hadn’t played in 10-11 days, but we had our guys step up. I’m happy with our 23 assists and how we played on the boards [a 34-26 edge].”
Masiello said a quick pep talk to his team got the Jaspers going.
“I told them the walk back from Albany to Riverdale could take a while,” he said with a smile. “They responded well.
“We wanted to get our juniors some kind of ring. Next year, this tournament could be the fertilizer for how well we do.”
UAlbany’s Gerardo Suero, the fifth-best scorer in the nation at 21.6 points per game, finished with 18 points and five assists, but he wasn’t the same after an early charging call.
Brown was careful about how he discussed the officiating.
“G [Suero] knows who the referees are in
every one of our games. He was concerned,” said Brown, referring to Wednesday night’s crew. “G is unorthodox and is very talented. He stopped attacking the rim in the first half after that call. He was very frustrated.”
The Great Danes played poorly on defense — an Achilles’ heel all season — allowing the Jaspers to shoot 62.5 percent from the floor.
“When a team makes a big run like that, it’s like being in quicksand,” said Iati. “We didn’t defend well tonight. We broke down defensively.”
But Brown said that playing in the CIT was worth it, despite the loss.
“This was another chance to wear the jersey. Four years go by quickly,” he said. “There are 200 other schools watching, and there are some good teams still playing. It’s all about the kids, giving them another opportunity to play another game and prolong the season. This was a good experience for us.”
Brown said next year’s team should be much better.
“We are going to demand them to work harder on defense during the spring and summer. We will be good next year,” he said. “My goal is to win the league next year, and our defense will dictate how well we do.”
UAlbany announced it will open the 2012-13 season at Ohio State and Washington University, respectively, in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.
The Great Danes will begin the season at Ohio State Nov. 9 and then travel to Washington University Nov. 13. The tournament will continue at both the Mohegan Sun and at Springfield, Mass. The Danes will play in the Springfield bracket against Missouri-Kansas City on Nov. 17. Both the consolation and championship games will also be held in Springfield on Nov. 18.
Pre-sale tickets for participating school fans will go on sale via Ticketmaster on April 23. General public tickets will be available beginning July 23 via all Tickemaster outlets.
Andujar 4-8 1-1 9, Brown 5-6 0-2 10, Koita 5-8 0-0 11, Beamon 13-19 6-6 34, Alvarado
4-5 4-6 12, McCoy 0-1, 0-0 0, McCabe-Moran 2-5 0-0 6, Colonette 2-2 3-5 7, Kates 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 35-56 14-20 89.
Metcalf 2-6 0-0 4, Guerrier 3-9 3-4 10, Iati 8-14 0-0 23, Black 5-7 0-0 14, Suero 4-13 10-13 18, Gibson 0-0 0-0 0, Devlin 0-2 0-0 0, Rowley 4-6 2-2 10, Watts 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 26-57 15-19 79.
Halftime: Manhattan, 37-30. Three-point goals: Manhatan 5-15 (Andujar 0-2, Koita 1-3, Beamon 2-3, Alvarado 0-1, McCoy 0-1, McCabe-Moran 2-5); UAlbany 12-24 (Guerrier 1-4, Iati 7-12, Black 4-5, Suero 0-3.
Rebounds: Manhattan 34 (Beamon 10),
UAlbany 26 (Rowley 8). Assists: Manhattan 23 (Andujar 7), UAlbany 18 (Black 6). Personal fouls: Manhattan 20, UAlbany 18. Technical fouls: Brown.
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Categories: College Sports