Manhattan (5-11) at Canisius (10-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 17, 7 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Koessler Athletic Center (2,176) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Manhattan 3-2, Canisius 6-1. Away Record: Manhattan 2-7, Canisius 4-6. Neutral Record: Manhattan 0-2, Canisius 0-0. Conference Record: Manhattan 3-3, Canisius 3-3. Series Record: Manhattan leads, 48-32.
GAME NOTES: A pair of fading teams are set to square off at the Koessler Center, as the Canisius Golden Griffins play host to the Manhattan Jaspers in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tilt.
Manhattan has lost six of its last eight outings entering this game. However, the Jaspers emerged victorious in their most recent contest, notching a 65-53 home win over Marist on Sunday. However, beginning tonight, the Jaspers are on the road for four of their next five.
Meanwhile, Canisius has won six of seven at home this season. But the Golden Griffins have struggled of late, dropping four of their last five overall and are coming off Sunday's 97-87 setback at Iona. With five of their next six games to be played at home, the time is now if the Griffs hope to make a move in the MAAC standings.
Manhattan swept both meetings with Canisius last season and leads the all-time series, 48-32.
Rhamel Brown headlined the Jaspers' victory over Marist, as he scored 18 points to go along with seven rebounds and a career-high seven blocks. Freshman Shane Richards added 11 points, marking his second straight game in double figures, while point guard Michael Alvarado returned from an ankle injury to tally eight points and five boards in his first game action since Jan. 1. Overall, Manhattan shot a season-best 53.8 percent from the floor and never trailed despite the continued absence of reigning MAAC scoring champion George Beamon (16.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg), who has been sidelined since early-December with a severe ankle injury.
The team announced earlier this week that Beamon has now been officially ruled out for the season and he will seek a medical redshirt in hopes of returning to play for Manhattan in 2013-14. In the meantime, the show must go on for the Jaspers, and that leaves Brown (12.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.7 bpg) to try and carry most of the load.
The scoring gap between these two teams is quite large, as Manhattan is scoring just 58.2 ppg behind 40.2-percent shooting from the floor, while Canisius is posting 74.0 ppg. The Golden Griffins are lethal from beyond the arc, where they are shooting 39.6 percent as a team to rank among the national leaders. Billy Baron leads the way with 17.3 ppg, followed by Harold Washington (13.8 ppg) and Isaac Sosa (11.7 ppg). Each member of that trio has been in the starting lineup together for every game this season, and they are shooting a combined 42 percent from the perimeter (113-of-268).
After being held to 54 points at Siena in their previous outing, the Griffs erupted for 87 points against Iona on Sunday. However, they also allowed the Gaels to shoot 54 percent from the floor and knock down 16-of-33 3-pointers en route to a 97-point outburst. Washington scored a season-high 26 points in the loss, while Baron posted his third double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 assists.
The Jaspers were holding out some hope that Beamon would be able to return sometime during the conference schedule and provide a spark. But with this week's news that he will not be back this year, the Jaspers can only focus on moving forward with their current roster. Unfortunately, they figure to be outmatched against the up-tempo Golden Griffins.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Canisius 83, Manhattan 69
01/17 10:47:49 ET