Steve Masiello

Manhattan’s Steve Masiello says ‘[MAAC] is not a one-bid league’ after win over Iona

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Emmy Andujar had a career night, scoring 28 points, grabbing six rebounds, dishing out three assists and coming away with three steals in Manhattan’s big MAAC 80-77 overtime win against regular season champion Iona on Friday night.

Andujar went coast-to-coast at the end of regulation, but was denied by the rim as the Jaspers and Gaels geared up for five more minutes in front of a raucous Draddy Gymnasium crowd.

He came up big in overtime, using a hesitation move to glide along the baseline, putting Manhattan up 80-75 with 24 seconds remaining as Iona elected to play defense instead of fouling. A.J. English got it to a one-possession game moments later. After George Beamon’s missed free throw opened the door for a game-tying three, English came up short. Rhamel Brown missed both free throws, but time expired on the second miss.

Last season, Manhattan and Iona met in Springfield in the MAAC tournament title game, as the Nos. 6 and 4 seeds, respectively. This year, they are the top two teams in the league followed by newcomer Quinnipiac trailing regular season champion Iona by two games.

The MAAC got two bids in the 2012 NCAA Tournament with Loyola (Md.) getting the automatic bid while Iona was slotted as a No. 13 seed in First Four game against BYU.

Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello, who was one win away from the NCAA tournament last season, believes his league deserves multiple bids in 2014.

“This is not a one-bid league,” he said in the post game press conference. “A seventh-place team in a BCS conference is better than these three? I don’t buy it.

“These four teams at the top of the MAAC, you put them in a 13/4 game, that four seed is in trouble,” he continued.

Iona’s RPI is 73. Manhattan’s is 92. Kenpom has the Gaels rated 74 while the Jaspers are ahead of them by a spot in those rankings. It remains to be seen as to whether or not two teams get into the Big Dance. But one thing is certain: if Friday night was an indication of what next week’s conference tournament will look like, the MassMutual Center will be the site to several great games leading up to Selection Sunday.

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
AP
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.