(Photos by Ken Carozza)
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, December 3- The Manhattan Jaspers (2-3) defeated the Fordham Rams (1-5), 65-58, Friday night at the Rose Hill Gym on the Fordham University campus in the Bronx. The contest was the 105th between the men’s basketball teams of the two Bronx colleges in a rivalry that began more than a century ago.
Manhattan coach Steve Masiello kept his perfect record intact in six games against Fordham as a member of the coaching staff of Manhattan. Manhattan began the game strongly, reaching a first half high advantage of eight points, 15-7, midway through the first half. On a 12-2 scoring run, Fordham took a 19-6 lead with 4:52 remaining in the half. Two Bronx natives on the Manhattan squad, Michael Alvarado and Emmy Adujar, scored the final six points of the half to give the Jaspers a 26-23 advantage at the half.
The Jaspers retained their lead for the first five minutes of the second half. A three pointer by Fordham senior Branden Frazier followed by two free throws gave Fordham its first second half advantage, 35-33, with 13:25 left in the contest. A layup by Rhamel Brown of Manhattan put the Japers ahead, 53-52, for the final time in the game at 4:07. The visitors concluded the game successfully by outscoring the Rams, 12-6, in the final four minutes.
Of that period of time, the Fordham coach remarked, “In the last four minutes, they just out toughed us.”
All Hallows grad Alvarado, the high scorer in the game with 19 points, was awarded the Michael Cohen MVP Award. The sophomore remarked, “When they called my name. I was a little surprised, but was very excited and happy.”
After the game concluded, both coaches said Alvarado’s play made the difference in the contest. Fordham coach Tom Pecora stated, “I thought he [Alvarado] took the game over [and] that was the difference.”
Masiello commented, “Alvarado was the difference.”
Ryan Canty was the high scorer for Fordham. The 6-9 sophomore netted a career-high 18 points. Pecora credited him as “the bright spot of the game” for the Rams.
Both coaches also agreed that the Jaspers showed much greater intensity on the court than did Fordham. Pecora was very critical of his team’s play, “They played to the crowd. They didn’t play hard. We had guys watching; we had spectators.”
Masiello praised his team. “I thought we did a very good job in a lot of areas except turnovers. We dominated the boards (42-22 in rebounds). We got every loose ball in the last six minutes.”
Fordham will not return home until December 23 and Manhattan’s next home game at the Draddy Gymnasium. Interestingly, both teams will face Siena in the next games at home.
The women’s battle of the Bronx took place on the previous night at the Rose Hill Gym. Fordham raised its record this season to 5-1 as the rams defeated the Jaspers, 55-45.
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