Men’s Basketball: Tribe’s shooting ice cold

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February 23, 2009

11:18 PM

TRIBE 39, MANHATTAN 54

After both Manhattan College (17-11, 9-7 MAAC) and the College of William and Mary (9-18, 4-12 CAA) struggled to score in the first half, the Tribe’s shooting woes carried over into the second.

The College shot a dismal 24 percent in the second half, falling to the Jaspers 54-39 — the team’s lowest point total since a 100-38 loss at no. 1 Duke University Jan. 11, 1989.

“We knew it was going to be physical, and I think we handled that well. But as was the case at points throughout the year, we were completely inept on the offensive side of the ball,” Head Coach Tony Shaver said.

The Tribe played Manhattan as part of ESPNU BracketBusters, a competition designed to pair mid-major teams from different conferences against each other.

The game’s physicality hampered the first-half shooting numbers as both teams shot around 30 percent.

The game’s first bucket was not scored until Manhattan guard Darryl Crawford, who finished with a game-high 17 points, scored on a floater almost four minutes into the first half.

After two quick three-pointers by junior forward Danny Sumner, who had a team-high 11 points on 3 of 12 shooting, and junior guard David Schneider, the Tribe went cold, not hitting another basket from the field until its first two-point field goal, a layup by freshman forward Quinn McDowell on a give-and-go from senior forward Peter Stein at the 5:48 mark of the first half. McDowell was fouled hard on the play and added a free throw to complete the three-point play. It was one of the few offensive highlights all game for the Tribe.

“We had some shots, but we just couldn’t get them to fall,” Sumner said.

The College’s comeback effort hit a snag in the second half when leading-scorer Schneider fouled out with 5:39 remaining after being called for a charge.

“It doesn’t help when the referees don’t call hand-checking calls,” said Schneider, who shot 2 of 12 from the field and 1 of 9 from three-point range. “That prevented us some of the time from getting the shots we wanted down the stretch.”

Ultimately, the team’s poor shooting, which included a 1 of 12 effort from three-point range in the second half, did in the Tribe.

“The refs didn’t miss the shots,” Shaver said.

Neither did Manhattan. The Jaspers shot 57 percent from the field in the second half as Crawford and fellow guard Chris Smith combined for 21 of their team’s 35 second-half points.

“Not that this game didn’t mean a lot, but it is less important than the last two conference games and the [CAA] tournament,” Schneider said.

Tomorrow’s 7 p.m. game at Old Dominion University (18-9, 10-6 CAA) will show just how much the Tribe learned from the physical play of the Jaspers. In the College’s first game against ODU, the Tribe jumped out to an early 10-point lead before falling 62-50 Jan. 17 at Kaplan Arena.

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