Saturday, February 4, 2017

Waterman's three in final seconds shoots Jaspers past Marist

Zane Waterman's 22 points led all scorers, but none were bigger than his go-ahead three in waning seconds as Manhattan was able to gut out win over Marist. (Photo by Vincent Dusovic/Manhattan College Athletics)

RIVERDALE, NY -- The month of February is notoriously a time when Steve Masiello's teams come alive to fortify a late push going into March, with the timely rise in performance quality leading to a pair of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships during his watch. And with Manhattan having struggled for most of the season in the absence of senior Rich Williams, the calendar change could not have come at a more desired time.

The Jaspers' first contest in the second month of the year had its share of back-and-forth moments, but in the end, it was Zane Waterman once again playing the hero, as the junior's three-pointer from the left corner with twelve seconds remaining in regulation pushed Manhattan to the finish line ahead of Marist in a 68-67 thriller at Draddy Gymnasium.

"Really, Little Z (Zavier Turner) was supposed to get a layup," said Waterman; whose 22 points led all scorers and were supplemented by seven rebounds, of the intent behind the go-ahead shot. "Both my man and his man went with him, so he just kicked it out to me and I just knocked it down."

WATCH: Video footage of Zane Waterman's game-winning three-pointer (footage courtesy of Kevin Ross, Manhattan College Athletics)





The Jaspers (9-16, 4-10 MAAC) played one of their better halves of basketball in the opening stanza, staking themselves out to a 31-22 halftime lead on the strength of conceding just seven field goals to the visiting Red Foxes and outrebounding them 21-8 over the first 20 minutes. But a 16-4 run by Marist tipped the scales against the home team and fueled a rally that soon found Manhattan trailing by a 50-44 count with 9:15 remaining in regulation.

The lead changed hands again after a 10-2 Jasper spurt in which Waterman and Tyler Wilson combined for all the offense in the ensuing two minutes, but Marist (6-18, 3-10 MAAC) countered with six unanswered points to forge a 58-54 cushion with 5:06 to play. From there, Manhattan was never quite able to shake the Red Foxes down the stretch as the visitors traded shots for the final five minutes, still holding a 67-65 lead even after Brian Parker split a pair of free throws with 23 ticks left in the second half. Ironically, the Jaspers squandered a similar opportunity to steal a road win at McCann Arena last month when Tom Capuano made one of two at the line in the final seconds in what eventually ended up being an overtime loss, but avenged their errant execution as Waterman's trifecta wrested the lead away one last time.

Marist had one last chance to win, but Khallid Hart; whose 20 points paced the Red Foxes, was unable to convert a mid-range jumper just before the horn. A putback attempt by Ryan Funk came after the buzzer sounded, enabling Manhattan to emerge from the bottom of the MAAC standings by beginning a three-game homestand with a victory that fits in with the Jaspers' longtime ability to save their best for last.

"I thought our defensive mentality was there tonight, which we've been missing," Masiello said, the pride of Manhattan's venerable calling card noticeable in his inflection. "It's a good win, we'll take it. It's February. It's time for Manhattan to be Manhattan."

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