Siena (2-8) at Manhattan (2-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 9, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Draddy Gymnasium (2,520) -- Riverdale, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Siena 0-4, Manhattan 1-0. Away Record: Siena 1-3, Manhattan 1-5. Neutral Record: Siena 1-1, Manhattan 0-0 Conference Record: Siena 0-1, Manhattan 0-1. Series Record: Manhattan leads, 47-38.
GAMES NOTES: The Siena Saints will try to end a six-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon when they face off with the Manhattan Jaspers in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference duel at Draddy Gymnasium.
In its conference opener on Friday, the Saints were taken down by Rider 62-56. The loss was the six straight for Siena which currently has an overall record of just 2-8. In true road games Siena is 1-3, with the single win coming in a 54-49 overtime decision against Navy. Siena continues on the road in its next contest when it faces Fordham in the Bronx.
A 62-58 setback against Marist in its conference opener has the Jaspers at 2-5 overall this season. The loss was the second straight and the fifth road loss for Manhattan. The team has played only one game at home, when it downed Hofstra 67-56 at the end of November. The homecoming will be short-lived as despite playing its next three games instate, none are at Draddy Gymnasium.
Last season these two squads split the season series, but Siena earned an 84-82 victory over Manhattan during the MAAC Tournament. The Jaspers now lead the all-time series, 47-38.
Siena trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half against Rider and was unable to complete a comeback down the stretch. The Saints shot 41.5 percent in the game and also hit only 6-of-17 shots from the free-throw line. O.D. Anosike recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, but missed five foul shots.
Anosike (12.7 ppg, 13.0 rpg) is a double-double machine and the top scorer on the squad. The 6-foot-8 forward has eight double-doubles this season although only one in the last three games. Evan Hymes (12.0 ppg) is the second leading scorer on the roster but is shooting just 32.2 percent from the field. Rob Poole (11.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg) provides good effort on the boards to go along with decent scoring. Like Hymes, Pool could stand to improve his shot (34.8 FG percentage). The Saints are not an especially deep team as only the five starters are playing more than 15 minutes per game. Siena doesn't score particularly well netting only 57.1 points per game on 38.5 percent shooting. The defensive efforts have been solid though, as the Saints allow 62.5 points per game on 38.8 percent shooting. Thanks to Anosike the team has fought to just about even on the boards with a rebounding margin of +0.1.
Manhattan fought back from a 13-point deficit in the second half against Marist and tied the game, 58-58, with less than two minutes to play. However the comeback failed when the Jaspers missed on all four of their final shot attempts. Manhattan converted just 36.0 percent in the game and was outscored 27-12 from 3-point range. Michael Alvarado came off the bench to score 19 points as the only player in double figures.
Alvarado (11.6 ppg) began the season as a starter but has been providing an offensive spark off the bench in the last couple of games. In the starting lineup George Beamon (13.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg) is the top scoring option as well as one of the better rebounds on the squad. No other player is scoring in double figures with Rhamel Brown (8.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg) the only one scoring more than seven points per game. Brown is also the top rebounder on the roster. Manhattan certainly understands Siena's offensive struggles. Manhattan is shooting only 39.3 percent from the field and putting up just 57.0 points per game. Meanwhile, the Jaspers are surrendering 66.7 points per game on 45.0 percent shooting.
Playing back at home should benefit Manhattan in this conference clash. The Jaspers may not be a very efficient squad offensively but with that home crowd behind them, they should manage to outplay a thin Siena squad.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Manhattan 65, Siena 60
12/09 10:32:40 ET