The Bucknell Bison have blown out the Manhattan Jaspers to ruin the Jaspers' home opener by a score of 80-67 at Draddy Gymnasium in Riverdale, New York. With the loss the Jaspers have dropped to 0-2 this season. With the win the Bison have improved to 3-1 this season.
The first half was a close game as it ended at 43-36 with Bucknell leading. However, the 2nd half was a completely different game as the Bison dominated the Jaspers, going on multiple few minute long runs where they kept the Jaspers scoreless. Eventually, Bucknell scored 37 points in the 2nd half to Manhattan’s 31.
The top performer for the Jaspers was Shane Richards, the senior who played 40 minutes in this game and had 28 points with 5 steals, 3 assists and 6 rebounds, all of which were defensive rebounds. Richards’ 28 tonight was a career high for him. The top performer for the Bucknell Bison was Zach Thomas who played dominated down low, getting a double double with 15 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal.
The Bucknell Bison had 40 free throws in this game and converted on 31 of those. The Jaspers made 13 out of 20 free throws in this game. Shane Richards and Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello talked about what they need to do to right the ship before Wednesday’s game and said that it’s too early to make drastic changes. They do not want to change styles like in his second year at the helm of the Jaspers, 2012, when after being decimated by injuries, they went to a slower tempo style. But, they do have a short bench at the moment, as in recent days there have been players leaving the program, and Rashawn Stores left the game today after reaggrativing his hamstring.
There was a surprisingly large number of Bucknell alums at the game tonight who were quite boisterous when the Bison were going on 10-0 runs. The Jaspers fans were going crazy when they went on their upped the tempo at certain points in the game. Sitting right behind the bench to support Shane Richards was former York Prep science teacher Amin Linder, current math teacher and boy’s JV basketball head coach Albert Broadus, and current PE teacher and boy’s varsity basketball head coach Doug Hill.
According to ESPN the attendance at the game was 1,810. Two times in the game, once by a Jasper and once by a Bison, the opponent was made to look silly with a great move. The last time was with about 30 seconds left when Stephen Brown of Bucknell made a sick spin move that got Tyler Wilson to completely bite. That was a few minutes after Tyler Wilson fooled Brown with some sneaky dribbling.
The Manhattan Jaspers have a few days off before they welcome George Mason to Draddy Gym on Wednesday. The Bison also have a few days off before they welcome Siena to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania on Tuesday.