Brooklyn, NY—The men’s basketball version of the “Battle of the Bronx” between the Fordham Rams (3-6) and the Manhattan Jaspers (4-7) was held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Monday night. It was only the second game of the 107 played between the two inter-borough rivals that were contested outside of the Bronx. In 2001, the rivals competed in Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.
Fordham dominated the early minutes of Monday’s contest, leading 10-0 at 15:39. A three-pointer by Antwoine Anderson at 13:44 gave Fordham its largest lead of the game, 16-4. That high point for the Rams ended quickly as the Jaspers, on an 18-4 scoring run, took their first lead of the game, 22-20, at 6:40. Manhattan increased its advantage to 30-25 as the first half ended.
The five point advantage grew quickly to a game high of 22 for the Jaspers after they outscored the Rams 22-5 after 7:45 of play in the second half. Manhattan’s domination if the game between Fordham’s lead of 12 and Manhattan’s lead of 22, a 48-14 scoring run, determined the outcome of the game. This one-sided play was followed by a 23-10 run by the Rams to lower the Manhattan lead to single digits, 62-53, but the run was too little and too late to prevent Manhattan from capturing the contest, 71-57.
Steve Masiello, the coach of the Jaspers commented about his team’s comeback, “I thought Fordham was very well-prepared. We kept our poise. That’s a credit to our seniors. We got back to our defensive mindset. The press for us is really critical. They just chipped away. We knew we could get a run.”
Fordham’s coach Tim Pecora assessed what he believed were the reasons for his team’s loss, “The tougher team will win this game and they did. We didn’t make the effort plays in the second half and they did. Their three veterans stepped up and did the job. To come out and shoot 48% of free throws is challenging.”
Three Manhattan upperclassmen who are averaging in double figures in scoring did so again on Monday. It was the second straight contest that Richards netted four for six from beyond the arc. The four three-pointers on six attempts raised Shane Richards’ school record to 170. Bronx native Ashton Pankey scored 12.
Emmy Andujar was voted as the recipient of the Mike Cohen MVP Award as the best player of the game by sportswriters covering the game. Andujar led the victorious team in scoring with 14 and rebounds with eight. Masiello praised him highly, “I thought he made some really good plays from a leadership standpoint. This kid is what college basketball is all about. This kid is a coach’s dream.”
The award is given to honor a man who only lived 45 years and passed away 26 years ago but deserves to be remembered for the work he did to encourage and aid others including his decade of service as Manhattan’s Sports Information Director.
The Jaspers now lead the series that began during the 19911-12 season, 56-51.
Fordham returns to the Rose Hill Gym for its next three games, December 28, December 31 and January 4. Manhattan travels to Buffalo for two road games before returning to the Draddy Gym on January 7.