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Back-To-Back MAAC Champion Manhattan Announces Non-Conference Slate

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 head coach Steve Masiello of the back-to-back Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Champion Manhattan Jaspers has announced the program’s non-conference schedule for the 2015-2016 season, highlighted by four home games at Draddy Gymnasium.

Included in the nine-game schedule are four games against teams that qualified for the postseason a year ago, including three that participated in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Additionally, six of the teams have qualified for the NCAA Tournament this decade.

“We are extremely excited about the direction of the program and with that comes stellar competition, which we feel this non-conference schedule gives us.” said Masiello. “It is not only challenging but also gives us an opportunity to play in front of our home fans as well as on national level, which is great for our brand.”

Manhattan will host Bucknell (11/21), George Mason (11/26), Columbia (12/9) and St. Francis Brooklyn (12/14) while playing at Saint Mary’s (11/16), Fordham (11/28), Memphis (12/12), Morgan State (12/20) and Eastern Kentucky (12/29).

“We know it will be a difficult early slate, especially with what we lost, but it is time for the next group of Jaspers to step up and leave their mark on the program,” said Masiello.

Below is a game-by-game overview of the entire schedule:

at Saint Mary’s (Monday, November 16) – TBA
2014-2015 Recap: 21-10 (13-5 WCC) – NIT First Round | Last NCAA Appearance: 2013
Series History: Manhattan leads 1-0 | Last Meeting (1991-1992)
Fast Fact: St. Mary’s has qualified for the either the NCAA or the NIT Tournaments in each of the last eight seasons.

Bucknell (Saturday, November 21) – 7:00 pm
2014-2015 Recap: 19-15 (13-5 Patriot) – NIT First Round | Last NCAA Appearance: 2013
Series History: Tied at 2-2 | Last Meeting (1988-1989)
Fast Fact: This will be Masiello’s first-ever game against a Patriot League institution comes against a Bucknell squad that has reached either the NCAA or the NIT Tournaments in four of the last five years.

George Mason (Wednesday, November 25) – 7:00 pm
2014-2015 Recap: 9-22 (4-14 A-10) | Last NCAA Appearance: 2011
Series History: George Mason leads 4-0 | Last Meeting (2014-2015)
Fast Fact: First-year head coach Dave Paulsen assumes the reigns of the program after coaching Bucknell the last eight seasons.

at Fordham (Saturday, November 28) – TBA
2014-2015 Recap: 10-21 (4-14 A-10) | Last NCAA Appearance: 1992
Series History: Manhattan leads 56-51 | Last Meeting (2014-2015)
Fast Fact: “The Battle of the Bronx” returns to campus sites after the Jaspers defeated the Rams last year 71-57 at the Barclays Center.

Columbia (Wednesday, December 9) – 7:00 pm
2014-2015 Recap: 13-15 (5-9 Ivy) | Last NCAA Appearance: 1968
Series History: Columbia leads 15-9 | Last Meeting (2013-2014)
Fast Fact: The last time the teams met on November 12, 2013, George Beamon’s putback layup off a missed shot was the difference in a one-point Manhattan victory.

at Memphis (Saturday, December 12) – TBA
2014-2015 Recap: 18-14 (10-8 American) | Last NCAA Appearance: 2014
Series History: Memphis leads 2-1 | Last Meeting (2006-2007)
Fast Fact: Masiello and Memphis head coach Josh Pastner squared off in the 1997 National Championship game. Pastner and Arizona defeated Masiello and Kentucky 84-79.

St. Francis Brooklyn (Monday, December 14) – 7:00 pm
2014-2015 Recap: 23-12 (15-3 NEC) – NIT First Round
Series History: Manhattan leads 51-19 | Last Meeting (2008-2009)
Fast Fact: The Terriers had arguably the top season in program history, advancing to the NEC Championship Game and the NIT before dropping a hard-fought decision to Richmond in the First Round.

at Morgan State (Sunday, December 20) – 1:00 pm
2014-2015 Recap: 7-24 (5-11 MEAC) | Last NCAA Appearance: 2010
Series History: Manhattan leads 2-1 | Last Meeting (2014-2015)
Fast Fact: Manhattan rallied for a thrilling 73-69 in the teams’ meeting at Draddy Gymnasium last season as Shane Richards became the Jaspers’ career leader in three-point field goals.

at Eastern Kentucky (Tuesday, December 29) – 2:00 pm
2014-2015 Recap: 21-12 (11-5 OVC) – CIT Quarterfinals | Last NCAA Appearance: 2014
Series History: Manhattan leads 1-0 | Last Meeting (1946-1947)
Fast Fact: While the programs haven’t met in almost 70 years, the head coaches are quite familiar with each other as EKU head coach Dan McHale served as a student manager at Kentucky during Masiello’s final three seasons.

Miscellaneous Notes:
* The four home non-conference games features games against NIT participants Bucknell and St. Francis Brooklyn, A-10 member George Mason and a Columbia team that is expected to challenge for Ivy League superiority.

* Additionally, the four home non-conference games are the most during Masiello’s tenure in Riverdale. Over his first four seasons, he is 6-4 at Draddy Gymnasium in non-league play.

* Four schools – Memphis (17), Saint Mary’s (33), Eastern Kentucky (75) & Bucknell (99) have two-year RPI averages in the Top-100. All four qualified for postseason play a year ago.

* The non-conference schedule consists of three games against schools from New York and one each from California, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia.

* Manhattan will also host Bridgeport on Monday, November 9 in an exhibition game.

* The Jaspers’ 20-game MAAC schedule will be announced in September.

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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