Jaspers End Season with a 74‐64 Loss to Hampton
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 18- The technical start of the NCAA National Tournament is the play of the First Four two days before the first round. The winner of each of Tuesday’s games will see action in the first round of the 64 teams that begin play on Thursday. The Manhattan Jaspers (19‐14) qualified for the tourney by defeating the favored Iona Gaels in the final of the MAAC Tournament. The Jaspers faced the Hampton Pirates (17‐17) of Virginia at the University of Dayton Arena. Despite finishing the regular season with a record under .500, the Pirates qualified by winning the MEAC Tournament.
The Pirates began by scoring the first seven points in less than three minutes. A dunk by Charles Wilson‐Fisher at 6:33 gave Hampton its first double digit lead. The advantage rose to a first half‐high 12 points, 35‐23, at 3:49. The lead was shaved by the Jaspers to seven at the end of the half, 38‐31.
In the second half, the Jaspers lowered the deficit to as low as a single point, but a comeback by the Pirates raised their lead to double figures again, 62‐52, at 5:43. Manhattan reached within single figures again, but never held the lead during the game. The Pirates were victors by a score of 74‐64.
Hampton now has to travel to Lexington, Kentucky to play the overall #1 seed Kentucky, who are undefeated this season. Manhattan’s season is over.
The Jaspers achieved every team’s goal to be in the NCAA Tournament in March, but their dream ended early.
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