In football, it is not uncommon for a team’s defense to overcome its offense’s struggles to score points, but in basketball, a team needs their offense to show up to win. On Sunday afternoon, at Draddy Gymnasium in the Bronx, the Manhattan College offense was absent, resulting in the Jaspers suffering another MAAC conference loss at the hands of Siena 81-68.
With its team leader, Zavier Turner, shooting 1 for 9 from the field and 0 for 3 from behind the three-point line, for seven total points, not much went well for a Jasper offense that shot 37% from the field. The breaks in scoring allowed Siena to go on offensive runs that made it difficult for Manhattan to keep the game competitive.
With the score tied at four Manhattan experienced their first scoring drought, going 4:20 without a point, while Siena scored ten points to take a 14-4 lead. Siena would take a twelve point lead 17-5 when at the 13:05 mark of the first half Thomas Capuano hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to nine 17-8.
Manhattan would figure out a way to reduce the Siena lead to six points, 39-33 at the half to keep their fans hopeful for a second half comeback and victory. In the post-game interview, Coach Steve Masiello commented on his teams start by simply stating, “We were not ready when the ball went up.”
In the second half, Manhattan experienced more of the same offensive doldrums, allowing Siena to start the half on a 9-2 run and build their lead to 13 points 48-35. Coach Masiello stated the he was “perplexed by how his team responded to a 7-0 run by Monmouth, on the road, but could not today at home.” Having your team shoot 36% (8-22) from the field will certainly prevent a positive response to an opponent’s run.
Coach Masiello took the blame for his team not being prepared, noting that he will have implement different strategies to help his team better handle adversity.
The Jaspers will have to find a way to deal with the adversity teams experience during a game. They will have to find a way to muster up the mental strength and confidence to end their current three-game losing streak, and exhibit the toughness they did against Rider and Niagara to get back on the winning track.
Manhattan is now 7-14 (2-8 MAAC) as they prepare for a three-game road trip, where they travel to Niagara, Canisius, and Fairfield, before returning home to face Marist on February 4th at 7PM.
Robert Cole is a freelance sports contributor and photographer.