Maestre's 28 Leads Manhattanville Past Wilkes, 84-77

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PURCHASE, N.Y. – Senior Anthony Maestre (Bronx, N.Y./Mount St. Michael Academy) scored 22 of his game-high 28 points in the second half as Manhattanville College shook off Wilkes University by an 84-77 score in MAC Freedom men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Kennedy Gymnasium.
The senior shot 6-of-8 from the field and 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, as well as 6-of-8 from the charity stripe, in the pivotal second half on the way to his game-high point total. The senior also moved into 10th place all-time in scoring at Manhattanville with his 1,345th career point, hitting two free throws in the final minute to help seal the win.
Manhattanville (5-4, 1-1 MAC Freedom) got solid efforts from all five members of the starting five, as senior Juan Camacho (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/New Horizons) chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds while sophomore Alex Tuci (New Rochelle, N.Y./New Rochelle) also tied for the team lead with eight boards. SophomoreDom Arena (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman) had all 13 of his points in the second half and added six assists and four rebounds, while junior Charles Nardone (Stony Point, N.Y./North Rockland) reached double figures for the third straight game with 10 points to go with six rebounds.
Alec Wizar led Wilkes (3-5, 0-2 MAC Freedom) with 24 points, but needed 23 shots to do so – including a 5-of-18 mark from beyond the arc.
Wilkes held the lead for almost the entirety of the opening half, as Wizar came out firing with four three-pointers to give his squad an early lead. The Colonels led by as many as seven in the opening 20 minutes, but Maestre gave his team some momentum by sinking a bank shot at the buzzer to make it a 37-32 score at the half.
After just six points in the first half, Maestre came out red hot to start the second, scoring five quick points to tie the game at 37 less than a minute in. He followed that up with back-to-back three pointers that gave the Valiants a 43-42 lead with 16:34 left in the stanza. Those threes jumpstarted an 18-2 run that put Manhattanville up 55-44 with 13:09 remaining.
Wilkes battled back to eventually take the lead on a Marcus Robinson layup and built up a 67-63 advantage with 4:52 left on a Robinson triple. But the Valiants had one big run left in them, a stretch of 14 straight points that made the score 77-67 in favor of the home team with under a minute to go. Arena had a team-high five points to lead the game-changing run, during which Wilkes went 0-for-5 from the field with three untimely turnovers.
Manhattanville shot 51.7 percent (15 of 29) in the second half, finishing the game at 48.2 percent (27 of 56) from the field overall. Wilkes ended up shooting 30-for-72 (41.1 percent) from the floor on the afternoon.
Manhattanville will close out 2015 with two games on the road, beginning next Wednesday, December 16 at Keystone College beginning at 2 p.m.