BRONX, N.Y. – The Manhattanville College men's basketball picked up the 92-78 victory Friday afternoon, Dec. 28, in the first round of the CUNY Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, hosted by Lehman College. The Valiants defeated future Skyline Conference foe Old Westbury College in the first game of the day and now advance to the title game against Stevenson University tomorrow evening, Saturday, Dec. 29, for a 5:00 p.m. tip-off – the Mustangs defeated the hosting Lightning in Friday's second first-round contest.
The win over the Panthers (3-5) snapped a three-game skid for Manhattanville (5-6). The Valiants were led once again by sophomore Sean Smith, Jr., as he dropped in 23 points and 10 boards for his seventh double-double of the season and fifth in the last six games. Smith was one of four players in double figures for Manhattanville as junior JoJo Cobbs also added 18 points and three assists, followed by 10 points apiece from sophomore Mike Granda and rookie Matt Bielenda. Granda chipped in four assists, while Bielenda pulled down seven rebounds.
Manhattanville jumped out to several 13-point leads in the first half – they also went on a 12-4 run to start the game – and led 26-13 with 7:54 remaining following a layup from senior Mike Ryan. Old Westbury was able to slowly chip away at the Valiants' lead for the remainder of the half and Manhattanville took the 40-38 advantage into the break.
The Panthers started the second half strong and actually led by two points with just under three minutes gone at 47-45. That would be the last lead of the contest for Old Westbury as the Valiants cruised to the 14-point victory. Manhattanville led by as many as 18 following a three-point bucket from Smith at 2:16 to give his squad a 90-72 lead.
- Freshman Connor Yetman finished with eight rebounds, six points, two assists and a steal
- Sophomore Cory Madden chipped in six points, four assists and three boards
- Rookie Jake Dunn also had six points to go along with two helpers and a steal
- Freshman Petey Galgano registered five assists, four points and two rebounds
The Valiants will return to the court for tomorrow's title game against Stevenson at 5:00 p.m.