Two struggling opponents squared off Friday night in Bridgeport, Conn., in their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opener and the Fairfield Stags picked up a 67-54 win over the Manhattan Jaspers.
The Stags, who improved to 3-5 overall and 2-2 at home, jumped out to a 27-22 halftime lead and led the rest of the way.
Fairfield was paced by a game-high 24 points from forward Marcus Gilbert, who continued his hot start this season as the team’s leading scorer. Guard Steve Johnston added 15 points.
Forward Amadou Sidib led the Stags with eight rebounds, forward Mike Kirkland Jr. added 10 points and guard K.J. Rose had a game-high five rebounds. Fairfield also had 10 steals compared with three for Manhattan.
Jaspers forward Ashton Pankey had a team-high 23 points. Emmy Andujar added 10 points and nine rebounds for Manhattan, which suffered its second straight tough loss.
Manhattan (1-5) was just a few days removed from a shocking loss to George Mason, which nailed a 75-foot desperation heave at the buzzer for a 64-63 win last weekend. The Jaspers, who committed 21 turnovers Friday night, are 0-4 on the road this season.
The Jaspers still leads the series 49-45.
Both teams have one day off before returning to action Sunday when Fairfield plays at Quinnipiac and Manhattan will try to rebound Sunday at home against Marist.
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