Sunday, February 22, 2015

Manhattan 69, Saint Peter's 66: Ray Floriani's Tempo-Free Analysis

Manhattan head coach John Olenowski looks on as Jaspers battle Saint Peter's. (Photo courtesy of Ray Floriani)

Jersey City, NJ ­- A strong second half showing was the key for the Manhattan women. Coming back from a double-digit halftime deficit, the Jaspers defeated Saint Peter's 69-66 at the Yanitelli Center. The pace and possessions:

Possessions: Saint Peter's 67, Manhattan 63
Offensive Efficiency: Manhattan 110, Saint Peter's 99

The Four Factors:
eFG%: Saint Peter's 49, Manhattan 48
FT Rate: Saint Peter's 24, Manhattan 16
OREB%: Saint Peter's 24, Manhattan 16
TO Rate: Saint Peter's 19, Manhattan 10

What Manhattan did well: Compete and limit turnovers. Down 11 at the break, the Jaspers got right back into it early. That set the tone for the balance of the contest. Manhattan was guilty of only six turnovers, an outstanding 10 percent turnover rate.

What Saint Peter's did well: Show offensive balance. Five Peacocks players were in double figures. The perimeter and paint were both represented. Antonia Smith, with a team high 17 points, took care of the outside, while the ever-improving Talah Hughes (14 points) handled the paint.

First Half: Manhattan coach John Olenowski had to figure what else could go wrong. Saint Peter's jumped out to a 13-5 lead at the 16-minute media timeout. Getting inside was difficult, so the Peacocks shot from the outside, hitting two fifteen-footers and three treys the first four minutes. Spurred by the good start, Saint Peter's showed a great deal of confidence, especially on offense, as the half progressed.
Score: Saint Peter's 39, Manhattan 28
Offensive Efficiency: Saint Peter's 118, Manhattan 88

Second Half: Manhattan scored the first five points of the second half. Mixing perimeter and inside, the Jaspers ‘won’ the first four minutes 12-4. At the 16-minute timeout, it was a one-possession game, with Saint Peter's leading by three. The Peacocks regrouped, increasing their lead to seven. Any chance of the hosts pulling away was negated by the inside work of Manhattan’s Shayna Ericksen. Manhattan chipped away and with five minutes left, the proverbial ’crunch time,’ the game was knotted at 55.

Manhattan grabbed the lead and was ahead by three with 10 seconds left. Coach Olenowski chose not to foul. The perimeter was defended closely, and all Saint Peter's could do was throw an off-balance long distance attempt that missed bad at the buzzer.

Leading Scorers and OE:
Manhattan: Shayna Ericksen, 23 points (OE .889)
Saint Peter's: Antonia Smith, 17 points (OE .519)

Blake Underhill of Manhattan had a game-high 11 assists while Smith of Saint Peter's, besides her perimeter prowess, added seven helpers. Both teams scored 30 points in the paint. Ericksen, the scoring leader, tied Sajanna Bethea of Saint Peter's for top rebounding honors with 11 boards.

OE epitomized the difference between player efficiency on the perimeter (Smith) and the inside (Ericksen). It should be noted that Smith’s seven scoring passes resulted in an impressive efficiency at the guard position.

Manhattan, with their first win since January 4, is now 2-15 in the MAAC. Saint Peter's is now 3-14.

Final Thoughts
“We came out strong the second half. We could have folded or battled back. We battled, and were right in the game.” ­- Manhattan coach John Olenowski

“We let them back early in the second half. It’s a learning process. We got the lead, and now we are going to have to learn how to put teams away.” ­- Saint Peter's assistant coach Phyllis Mangina

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