2015 NCAA Tournament: Manhattan Jaspers Lose To Hampton Pirates In First Play-In Game


It was a short lived appearance in the NCAA Tournament this season for the Manhattan Jaspers, as they lost the first play-in game of 2015 to the Hampton Pirates Tuesday night. The Pirates got off to a strong start, opening the game 7-0 and never looked back, as they led wire-to-wire. The Jaspers got within one point with 13:42 left in the game, but that was as close as they would get as the Pirates were able to hold them at bay the remainder of the game, not allowing them to get closer than three points the remainder of the game.

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Junior Shane Richards led the way for the Jaspers with 17 points, as he was not shy about letting it fly from deep. He shot 6-16 in the game, but 14 of those attempts came from the three-point line, making only four. He added four rebounds, four assists and one steal to round out his stat line.

Senior forward Emmy Andujar was the only other Jasper to score in double-figures, chipping in 11 points on 5-12 from the field. He also pulled down a team high eight rebounds with one assist, but his six turnovers definitely hurt tonight.

It was a struggle offensively all night for the Jaspers, as they struggled shooting no matter if they were being defended or taking freebies at the foul line. On the night, they shot 23-62, 37.1 percent, and an ever uglier 6-25, 24 percent, from the three-point line. The Jaspers even struggled from the charity stripe as they made only 12-21 for 57.1 percent. They also turned the ball over 17 times, a number that would derail even the most efficient of offenses.

Hampton struggled mightily from the foul line as well, making only 19-34 for 55.9 percent, but they were much more efficient offensively. All five starters scored at least eight points, led by 15 from Senior Quinton Chievous and Junior Reginald Johnson. Junior Brian Darden seemed to be the only able to knock down a free throw tonight, as he made all six of his attempts to score 13 points.

Even though both teams are 16-seeds, this outcome is a mild surprise. Manhattan was relatively big favorites in Las Vegas, as they were nine-point favorites heading into the game. That didn’t phase Hampton though, as they have been winning games the last two weeks as underdogs, winning all four of their games in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament.

With the victory, Hampton will now move onto the 64-team bracket, which is a good achievement all in itself. Unfortunately for them, being a 16-seed means they will face one of the best teams in college basketball. Their draw will now cause them to be the first victim of the Kentucky Wildcats run to history. They will be playing Kentucky Thursday night in the Midwest region with the game being played in Louisville.

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