PURCHASE, N.Y. – The Manhattanville men's basketball team made its final preparations for the remainder of the Freedom Conference schedule on Saturday afternoon against York (N.Y.) College, with the Valiants grinding out a 71-66 victory over the Cardinals at Kennedy Gymnasium to win for the fifth time in the last six games.
It wasn't a particularly pretty game for the home team, as Manhattanville shot just 39.3 percent (22 for 56) and allowed York to connect at a 46.4 percent (26 for 56) clip from the field; however, the Valiants made enough free throws down the stretch to finally put away the pesky Cardinals' squad.
Senior Trevoy Pointer (Dallas, Texas/Skyline) led all scorers with 20 points for Manhattanville, shooting 6 of 12 from the field and 8 of 10 from the free-throw line, while also chipping in five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Three teammates joined Pointer in double figures, as seniors Jeff Ventura (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cypress Bay) and Ivan Jovicic (Belgrade, Serbia/Sports HS Belgrade) both went for 11 points while sophomore Jack Bramswig (Pleasantville, N.Y./Pleasantville) had 10 points to go with a team-high seven rebounds.
Tony Vails led York with 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field, followed by William Holley and Kevin Lausell with 12 points apiece. Shamir Wilkinson just missed the game's only double-double with nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds as well for the visitors.
The Cardinals came out strong to open the afternoon, as the visitors hit eight of their first 12 shots from the field to open up their biggest lead of the game, nine points, at 20-11 with 8:32 gone by in the first half.
Manhattanville continued to hang around for most of the half until the York offense finally went south at the end of the frame, as the Valiants held their opponents scoreless for the final 5:45 of the half. Meanwhile, the Valiants strung together a 9-0 run of their own, and a Pointer layup with 1:03 left gave the home team its first lead since the first minute of the game and allowed the squad to take a 32-31 lead into intermission.
The two teams traded the lead back and forth to start the second half, with York eventually building up a six-point lead (45-39) with 12:22 remaining. Six straight Valiant points got the game back to even at 47-all with 9:38 remaining, and Ventura created the final lead change of the game just over a minute later with a three-pointer that put the home team up by a trey at 52-49.
It remained a one-possession game until single free throws by Bramswig and senior Armani Blackmon (Plano, Texas/Plano East) gave Manhattanville a 60-55 lead with 3:13 on the clock. Manhattanville was able to ice the contest soon after at the charity stripe, as the Valiants went 9 for 10 in the final 89 seconds of the afternoon to finally secure the win. Pointer ended the game with five freebies to maintain the two-possession edge, allowing him to reach the 20-point plateau for the fourth time this season and the 16th time in his career.
Manhattanville did not have a great game at the line, shooting just 64.5 percent (20 for 31) during the game, but the team had a 31-18 edge in free-throw attempts and a 20-10 edge in makes that allowed the squad to escape with the victory.
Manhattanville (7-6) will now play nothing but Freedom Conference contests for the remainder of the regular season, beginning a stretch of 12 straight conference games on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at FDU-Florham. Fans can follow the action with live audio on WMVL 88.1 FM beginning at approximately 7:50 p.m. York (4-11) will travel to Medgar Evers for a CUNYAC matchup also on Wednesday at 8 p.m.