Atlantic City, N.J. — Pauly Paulicap scored 18 points and 12 rebounds to carry Manhattan to a 61-43 win over Fairfield in the opening game of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament on Tuesday night at the Jim Whelan Boardwalk.
Manhattan (13-17) will face top-seeded Siena in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Manhattan has been the No.9 seed just one time going 1-1 in 2010.
The No.9 seeds hold an all-time record of 12-24 but have advanced to the quarterfinals seven times in the last 11 years.
The Jaspers are now 29-33 with five MAAC titles.
Manhattan pushed the tempo early and got Paulicap the ball on the blocks earlier and he set the tone for the Jaspers’ offense in the half.
The game was tied at 19 at the break before Manhattan went for 42 points in the second half. Paulicap scored 14 of his points after the break, making all four of his field goals and six straight free throws. Manhattan shot 52% in the second half and consistently made shots on the perimeter.
Samir Stewart had 11 points and six assists for the Jaspers. Christian Hinckson chipped in 10 points and nine boards, and Nehemiah Mack had seven rebounds.
Taj Benning had 10 points for Fairfield (12-20). Landon Taliaferro, the Stags’ leading scorer heading into the game average 12 points per game, was held in check to five points for the night.
“These guys played their tale off and the difference in tonight’s game, we were able to hit big shots on the perimeter. They didn’t have an answer for Pauly so we kind of rode that tonight.” Jaspers head coach Steve Masiello said.