Manhattan holds off Fairfield 61-58 in MAAC opener

RIVERDALE, N.Y. (AP) Pauly Paulicap scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds, Thomas Capuano hit a go-ahead 3, and Manhattan opened its conference schedule by holding off Fairfield 61-58 on Saturday night.

Zane Waterman scored 12 points and Zavier Turner added 11 for the Jaspers (6-7, 1-0 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference), who outshot the Stags 48.8 percent to 35 percent and made 14 free throws to their 11.

Capuano’s 3 put Manhattan up 50-47 with 7:46 left after five lead changes and the Jaspers pulled away on a 7-2 run. Fairfield closed to 59-58 on Jonathan Kasibabu’s layup with 16 seconds left, but Turner made two free throws and a 3 by Fairfield’s Tyler Nelson fell off the rim at the buzzer.

Fairfield trailed by as many as five points before Wassef Methnani’s jumper tied it at 25. The Stags led 30-26 at halftime after six lead changes and four ties.

Nelson led Fairfield (6-7, 1-1) with 15 points on three 3s. Kasibabu added 14 points with 13 rebounds and Jesus Cruz had a career-high five steals.