Manhattanville holds off Elizabethtown, 89-83

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LANCASTER, Pa. – Elizabethtown College slashed a 20-point Manhattanville lead to four late in regulation behind Josh Eden's career-high 24 points, but could not make it all the way back. The Valiants held on for an 89-83 victory in the consolation game of the Lancaster Rotary Tip-Off Tournament Sunday afternoon at Franklin & Marshall.

A pair of Matt Lane free throws trimmed what was once a 64-44 Manhattanville lead to 87-83 in the final minute. The Blue Jays (0-2) forced Anthony Maestre to turn it over with 23 seconds remaining, but committed one of their own in the final 10 seconds to seal the decision for the Valiants.

Matt Ziegler and Lane carried E-town early. The duo combined for 12 of the Blue Jays' first 16 points, as they trailed 18-16 following Jake Sweger's layup with 13:16 to play in the first half.

The offense would go stale over the next seven minutes, however. Matt Lapkowicz's 3-pointer accounted for Elizabethtown's only points during a 22-3 Manhattanville run covering 6:51. The Valiants led 40-19 before Eden responded with five straight, but would eventually push the lead as high as 22 and carry a 57-40 lead to halftime.

Maestre filled it up for the Valiants in the first half scoring 22 of his game-high 29 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-6 from downtown.

Eden was consistent with 12 points on four baskets and four free throws, as the Jays shot 53.3% (16-of-30) in the opening 20 minutes.

The problem was at the other end of the floor, where E-town allowed Manhattanville to shoot 56.3% (18-of-32) and gave up its most points in a first half since Westminster (Pa.) scored 59 in a 121-120 win over the Blue Jays Dec. 11, 2004.

E-town has given up more than 50 points in the first half of both games this season after not allowing 50 points in a first half all of last season.

Manhattanville's lead once again reached 20 early in the second half on two Charles Nardone freebies, but the Jays slowly chipped away.

Buckets from Eden, Sweger and Peter Harding pushed E-town on a 7-0 run that cut the Valiants' lead to single digits, 68-59, with 13:31 left. Manhattanville would strengthen its advantage, but the Blue Jays responded with a 9-0 spurt late, drawing within 85-81 on a Lapkowicz three 1:46 from the finish.

Elizabethtown placed four starters in double figures, led by Eden. Lapkowicz added 16 points and seven rebounds, while Ziegler and lane both had 11. Sweger came off the bench to score 10.

Paul Lecurieux-Lafayette's seven boards tied Lapkowicz for the team-high as the Blue Jays edged M-ville on the glass, 39-35. E-town did its share of damage down low, too, holding a 48-28 points in the paint advantage.

The Blue Jays limited Maestre to seven points in the second half, but Alex Tuci picked up the slack with 10 points on his way to a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Chris Ayson scored 13 points and Juan Camacho 10 for Manhattanville. Dom Arena and Andrew Winter dished out five assists as the Valiants won the first meeting between the two teams since 2009-10.

Freshman guard Jamil Pines-Elliott registered four assists and five rebounds in 18 minutes for the Blue Jays, which will open their home schedule Tuesday at 7 p.m., against Lancaster Bible.