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Manhattan Set To Defend MAAC Championship

The Manhattan Men's Basketball team huddle. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

The Manhattan Men’s Basketball team huddle. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Manhattan (16-13) begins defense of its 2015 MAAC Championship on Saturday, March 7 at 8 p.m. The Jaspers’ opening round game will be streamed live on ESPN3.

TOP STORYLINES
#1 – Winners of four-of-five, the Jaspers will face either No. 6 Quinnipiac or No. 11 Marist in the quarterfinals.

#2 – Manhattan defeated both teams last week and went a combined 3-1 against the squads this season.

#3 – The Jaspers will be looking for their fifth MAAC Championship and back-to-back titles for the first time since winning in 2003 and 2004.

MAAC TOURNAMENT QUICK HITS
* Manhattan holds an all-time MAAC Tournament record of 23-29 in 33 appearances, including going 7-20 in quarterfinal/opening round games.

* The Jaspers are 16-4 when entering the field as either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed with four titles, but are just 7-25 when not seeded among the top-two.

* Manhattan is 1-0 against Quinnipiac in tournament play and has never faced Marist.

* The Jaspers are 15-13 in MAAC Tournament action when playing at the Times Union Center and have won two titles at the venue.

* Manhattan is 0-3 as the No. 3 seed, most recently losing to Siena in 2012 when holding the slot.

* Head coach Steve Masiello is 5-2 in three career trips to the MAAC Tournament and with two more victories would match Fran Fraschilla’s school-record for tourney wins (7).

* Senior Emmy Andujar earned MAAC All-Tournament team honors a year ago and is one of just 13 student-athletes in program history to garner All-Tournament recognition.

* Andujar averaged 13.3 ppg and 6.0 rpg while shooting 60.9 percent (14-of-23) from the floor at the 2014 MAAC event.

* In his career at the MAAC Tournament, the Rice graduate has posted averages of 11.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg and 2.4 apg while shooting 50.0 percent from the floor and 81.3 percent from the line.

* Joining Andujar with All-MAAC recognition was junior Ashton Pankey, who earned Third Team honors after ranking among the league leaders in scoring (13.3 ppg-13th), rebounding (6.5 rpg-8th), field goal percentage (.543-2nd) and blocks (1.4 bpg-4th).

* In the QU victory junior Shane Richards set the single-season school record for three pointers, breaking his own record that he shared with Jeff Xavier, and now has 79.

* Richards, who is also the school’s all-time three point leader with 221 career makes, has converted at least three triples in 46 of his 94 games, and at least four in 24 games. When the New York City native hits at least four, the Jaspers are 17-7, including 13-4 over the last two seasons.

* Richards ranks among the MAAC leaders in scoring (12.9 ppg-14th), three pointers/game (2.7-3rd) (37th NCAA), three-point field goal percentage (.382-9th) (56th NCAA) and free throw percentage (.800-6th) while notching five 20-point performances – including a career-high 24 against Binghamton.

* The Jaspers also forced Quinnipiac into 19 turnovers and are second in the MAAC and 43rd nationally with +2.3 turnover margin. Additionally, the Riverdale-based institution has pressured the opposition into at least 20 turnovers on nine occasions.

THIS SEASON VS. QUINNIPIAC …
Manhattan split a pair of match-ups against the Bobcats with Andujar averaging a team-best 21.5 ppg and 9.5 rpg while Pankey notched 17.5 ppg and 6.0 rpg.

THIS SEASON VS. MARIST …
In sweeping the season series from Marist, the Jasper defense held the Red Foxes to just 28.1 percent (27-of-96) shooting, including 20.0 percent (8-of-40) from long range, while posting a +11.0 margin on the glass.

UP NEXT
With a win, Manhattan would play on Sunday, March 8 at 7 p.m. against either No. 2 Rider, No. 7 Saint Peter’s or No. 10 Fairfield.

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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