NEW YORK – The guy struggling from the free throw line made two when it mattered most on Friday night.
Josh Roberts, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward, had made just one of five attempts in the game before making two with 5.5 seconds left in overtime to give Manhattan a four-point cushion on the way to a 71-66 victory over first-place Siena at Draddy Gymnasium.
The Saints (15-8 overall) fell to 9-3 in the MAAC and into a tie with Rider for the top spot in the conference.
Siena post-grad guard Andrew Platek tied his single-game career high with 20 points.
His 3-pointer with 1:14 left gave the Saints their only lead during overtime, 65-64.
Manhattan answered with a 3 by Nick Brennen with 41 seconds left, and Platek missed a 3, leading to one free throw by Samir Stewart to give the Jaspers (6-6, 8-13) a 68-65 lead with 28 seconds left.
The Saints’ Jayce Johnson had a chance to make it a one-point game with six seconds left, but made just one of two free throws, and Roberts, who came into the game making 58.5% of his free throws, made two to give Manhattan just enough breathing room to hang on.
Siena led 56-52 with the ball with 1:16 left, but Platek was blocked on a baseline drive, and freshman point guard Zek Tekin fouled Samir Stewart beyond the 3-point arc.
Stewart made all three free throws with 48.8 seconds left to cut it to 56-55, and he had a chance to give the Jaspers the lead, but was way short on a 3-points attempt with less than 20 seconds left.
Jared Billups made the first of two free throws for Siena, but missed the second, and Manhattan tied at at 57-57 with three seconds left on two free throws by Ant Nelson, who finished with 19 points for the Jaspers.
Billups scored 15 points for the Saints, who got Jayce Johnson and Javian McCollum back from injury, but were missing freshman guard Michael Eley. Jackson Stormo scored 14 points for Siena.
McCollum, who has been dealing with a bad back, played just 14 minutes and was scoreless with two turnovers.
The Saints closed the first half on a strong note when Stormo tipped in a putback and Platek scored just before the buzzer off a steal of an inbounds pass to put Siena up 27-20.
Platek face-guarded a Manhattan player with his back to the passer, spotted a little lob out of the corner of his eye and converted the steal by muscling in a contested layup off the glass.
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Categories: College Sports, Siena College, Sports