Leading wire-to-wire, sixth-seeded Manhattan held off a furious Loyola charge and defeated the Greyhounds, 55-52, to advance to the semifinals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament in a game that started Saturday night and ended Sunday morning.
The Jaspers (13-17) moved on to face No. 7 Fairfield, which upset No. 2 Rider before the third-seeded Greyhounds, the defending tournament champions, also went down. No. 1 Niagara and No. 4 Iona will play in the other semifinal.
The Greyhounds were down by 14 points in the second half and by 12 when coach Jimmy Patsos engaged in the first of two shouting matches with the Greyhounds' Erik Etherly on the floor in front of the Loyola bench over defensive positioning. Whatever the coach's motive, it worked; his team started to charge.
They had several chances to tie or win, right up to Robert Olson's off-balance 3-pointer that came close at the buzzer.
The loss drops Loyola to 21-11 but doesn't necessarily end the Greyhounds' season as they will await a call from one of the postseason tournaments.
Rhamel Brown had 12 points and 12 rebounds and a key block late for the Jaspers, who got nine points and eight rebounds from Emmy Andujar.
Etherly and Dylon Cormier (Cardinal Gibbons), both first-team All-MAAC, struggled offensively. Cormier did finish with 14 points and seven rebounds, but Etherly was 1-for-10 from the field, failing to convert one of the chances at the end.
Manhattan survived despite going 15-for-27 from the foul line. But RaShawn Stores did hit a pair of free throws with 3.2 seconds left to widen the lead to three points.
Loyola made only two of its first 10 shots and was down 18-5 7:29 into the game. The Manhattan run included Donovan Kates making two free throws when Patsos, as upset with his team as the officials, got a technical foul.
But trailing by 13, the Greyhounds went on a 9-2 run. But the Jaspers quickly regained control, and when Shane Richard hit his third 3-pointer of the first half, Manhattan was up 31-20 with 3:30 left.
Things were going so well for the Jaspers that Andujar, who had nine points and five rebounds in the half, lost control of the ball on a drive and it popped up into the air and went through the basket to make the lead 11. But Cormier hit a four-point play and also had two free throws in an 8-2 spurt that left Manhattan up by four at the break.
NOTES: A pregame skirmish that took place before the teams playing in the regular-season finale last Sunday left three players suspended for Saturday night's game. With the coaches and officials not around, a Loyola player fired a ball at the head of Manhattan's Mohamed Koita, hitting him. It was the latest problem between these teams and Koita and Loyola's Julius Brooks and Jordan Latham received one-game suspensions. "I don't know how it keeps happening, but the same thing happened last year down there," Manhattan's Rhamel Brown told the New York Daily News. "I don't know why it keeps happening. That's what happens when two physical teams play each other. It gets physical and some people get upset, I guess. They are very similar to us and I guess that's why we tend to clash." ... Brown was named MAAC Defensive Player of the Year and made second team All-Conference. ... Loyola beat Manhattan, 51-41, in the Bronx on Jan. 25 and by 63-61 last Sunday. ... Loyola is leaving the MAAC for the Patriot League after the season. ... In the first game of the night's doubleheader, Rider had 21 turnovers and no assists, shot 29.5 percent from the field, didn't hit a 3-pointer and still had a chance to win the game.
Manhattan 55, Loyola 52
Colonette 2-3 3-5 7, D.Kates 1-3 3-4 6, M.Alvarado 1-5 1-2 3, Rh.Brown 6-13 0-4 12, S.Richards 3-9 0-0 9, Andujar 2-5 5-6 9, CJ.Jones 0-2 0-0 0, R.McCoy 0-0 0-0 0, Stores 1-7 6-6 9. Totals 16-47 18-27 55.
D.Cormier 4-12 5-6 14, Etherly 1-10 4-4 6, RJ.Williams 2-7 0-0 5, Ro.Olson 3-10 0-0 8, Winbush 4-6 3-4 12, Jr.Jones 2-3 3-3 7, Laster 0-0 0-0 0, Rassman 0-0 0-0 0, Ty.Hubbard 0-0 0-0 0, Wandrusch 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-48 15-17 52.
Halftime—Manhattan 34-30. 3-Point Goals—Manhattan 5-18 (S.Richards 3-9, D.Kates 1-3, Stores 1-4, M.Alvarado 0-1, CJ.Jones 0-1), Loyola-Maryland 5-15 (Ro.Olson 2-6, Winbush 1-1, D.Cormier 1-5, RJ.Williams 1-3). Fouled Out—RJ.Williams. Rebounds—Manhattan 36 (Rh.Brown 12), Loyola-Maryland 32 (D.Cormier 7). Assists—Manhattan 10 (Rh.Brown, Colonette, D.Kates, Andujar 2), Loyola-Maryland 9 (D.Cormier, RJ.Williams 3). Total Fouls—Manhattan 15, Loyola-Maryland 22.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun