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Manhattan MBB Aims for Fifth-Straight Win Against Rider

RaShawn Stores. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

RaShawn Stores. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Winners of a season-high four in a row and six-of-seven, Manhattan (8-8; 5-2 MAAC) will welcome Rider (11-7; 5-2 MAAC) to Draddy Gymnasium on Sunday, Jan. 18 at 2 p.m. in a game that will have far-reaching ramifications in the race of the Regular Season MAAC Championship.

TOP STORYLINES
#1 – The teams are currently part of a three-way tie for second place, one game back of Iona.

#2 – The Jaspers will be looking for their season-high fifth-straight victory and have won six-of-seven since starting 2-7.

#3 – Manhattan is a perfect 4-0 at home this season and has won seven-straight and 13-of-14 at Draddy Gymnasium dating back to last season.

QUICK HITS

* The Jaspers return home after posting a thrilling 72-65 overtime victory at Saint Peter’s before a nationally televised ESPN3 audience.

* Rider leads the all-time series between the teams by a 22-21 count, including a 21-15 advantage since the Broncs joined the MAAC for the 1997-1998 campaign.

* Manhattan swept the season series a year ago, winning by an average of 16.5 points ppg and is 10-7 against Rider at home since 1997-1998.

* Senior Emmy Andujar scored a game-high 22 points while junior Shane Richards added 21 to lead the way for the Jaspers against the Peacocks.

* For Andujar, it marked his fourth 20-point performance of the season and the sixth of his career.

* Andujar also grabbed five rebounds and handed out three assists while becoming the first player in school history with 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 300 assists with his first helper of the game.

* During the current four-game run, senior RaShawn Stores has four three pointers with less than five minutes to play while reclaiming the momentum for the Jaspers.

* Stores finished up with eight points, three assists and three steals over a career-high 37 minutes against Saint Peter’s on Friday and has 21 assists, against just five turnovers, over his last six games. Additionally, during MAAC play, he has 15 assists and just four turnovers.

* Manhattan’s current defensive domination from behind the arc helped the squad rank 47th nationally and tops in the MAAC in three-point defense (.299).

* The Jaspers rank fifth nationally with 17.5 forced turnovers per game and has pressured the opposition into at least 16 miscues in 12 of its 16 games while also placing 49th nationally with a +2.4 turnover margin.

KEY MANHATTAN MATCH-UPS

* The Line – Manhattan hit on a season-high 84.0 percent from the line in its win over Saint Peter’s and will need to continue to take advantage at the line against a Rider squad that is averaging a MAAC-low 16.8 fouls per game

* Defense – The Jaspers have been excellent of late defensively and must not allow the Broncs to put points on the board and limit runs as Rider is allowing just 63.2 points per game, including 59.0 during league play.

* Maintain Consistency – It is no surprise that a main reason behind Manhattan’s improved play has been the consistent play of Andujar, Pankey and Richards.

HOME COOKING
Manhattan is a perfect 4-0 at home this year and has won seven-straight and 13-of-14 dating back to last season. Steve Masiello is also 29-11 at Draddy since taking over as head coach. This year at home, the Jaspers are limiting the opposition to just 61.2 ppg and 41.9 percent shooting, including 25.4 percent from deep.

The Jaspers will play at Quinnipiac on Friday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. in a game that will be televised on ESPNU.

For more information on the Manhattan College Men’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://www.gojaspers.com

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