With a tier three semifinal berth at stake, the sixteenth-seeded MTA Lions battled the twenty-fourth-seeded Cooper Macs on Saturday night at Maayanot.
Backed by their hometown contingent in the stands, the Lions roared to a 6-0 lead before the teams exchanged 10-2 runs, which saw MTA take an 18-12 lead into halftime, led by eight straight points from Yosef Warburg.
Then, clinging to a three-point lead in the fourth, a three from Gavriel Rudman gave the Lions a 27-21 cushion, and although the Macs remained close, they couldn’t get over the hump as MTA sealed the game on free throws by Rudman who went 7-8 from the charity stripe as part of a 12 point night, Ezra Halpert, and Aidan Berger to pick up the 32-28 victory. “It's better to win ugly than to lose pretty, but we are unsatisfied with our performance tonight. We know we must play better to win tomorrow morning,” the MTA coach said postgame.
The win sees the Lions advance to Sunday morning's tier 3 semifinal at the Max Stern Athletic Center against the twenty-first-seeded Kohelet Kings, who, after MTA won, outlasted the 21st-seeded Or Chaim Knights 60-54 at Maayanot. Tip-off is scheduled for 11:30AM.