The Macs and their eight-game winning streak headed to St. Joseph’s College-Long Island on Sunday afternoon. This was the Golden Eagles first taste of Skyline Conference play this season, and they came out of the gate hot. However, after taking a 19-10 lead just 7:03 into the game, Yeshiva flipped a switch, and proceeded to go on an extended 45-12 run. While the Golden Eagles would put up some resistance down the stretch, the Macs were eventually able to seal the deal, and ended up winning 96-76.
After Yeshiva took a 4-2 lead, Cristian Pace knocked down a three, giving the Golden Eagles a one-point advantage. St. Joseph’s would slowly but surely extend their lead, as a Doug Niblock layup with 12:57 remaining in the 1st put the home team up 19-10. Early on, the Macs were guilty of allowing St. Joseph’s players to drive to the basket, giving them easy layups. On one occasion Yeshiva completely forgot to box out, leading to an uncontested putback. The Golden Eagles were shooting 7-10 from the floor through 7 ½ minutes.
Then, the game took a 180 degree turn. Simcha Halpert hit a three from the parking lot. After four free throws for the Macs, Bar Alluf threw a full-court pass to Max Leibowitz in transition; the Valley Torah alum layed it in, tying the game. The Golden Eagles regressed to the mean, as they missed nine consecutive attempts from the field. An Ofek Reef shot from well beyond the arc gave Yeshiva their first lead since 18:43, and after a Matthew Lavin layup, Gabe Leifer drilled a three from the left corner. This made the score 25-23; the Macs would never look back.
Leifer would then drain a three from the other corner; a Caleb Milobsky trey made it 33-27. The big man combo would come through again just minutes later, with Gabe converting on an and-one and Caleb hitting another three. A Max Liebowitz and-one, followed up by an Alluf three, extended YU’s lead to 17. The final scoring play of the half was a Leifer full-court pass to Reef; the freshman’s layup put the Macs up 50-31. YU closed the half on a 40-12 run.
The Macs continued their outstanding play to start the second half, as Alluf scored the first five points of the period. The Golden Eagles eventually rediscovered their lethal three-point shooting, as Pace hit one from downtown. After a Leifer response, St. Joseph’s star, Frank Basile, found his touch. Basile would hit two consecutive threes, and now down just 62-46, the Golden Eagles entered into a press. However, the Macs were able to play north-to-south against the press, and converted a couple of layups. Basile and St. Joseph’s would not go down easily, as Frank hit two consecutive threes; a drive to the rim cut the YU lead to just 10, and the YU faithful who made the trip to Patchogue found themselves somewhat uncomfortable.
Ofek Reef and the Macs would have none of it. The Plano, Texas native hit a trey, putting Yeshiva up 69-56. Leifer then hit a couple of layups, extending the lead to 17. An Alluf three made the score 80-61, and the Macs appeared well on their way to a ninth-consecutive victory. Basile would drain two more threes to bring St. Joseph’s to within 15, but back-to-back trifectas from Leibowitz and Halpert iced it. The final score was Yeshiva 96, St. Joseph’s-Long Island 76.
Gabe Leifer led the way for the Macs, as he scored 24 points to go along with 9 assists. Simcha Halpert scored 19, in somewhat unconventional fashion, as only six of his points came from behind the arc. Bar Alluf and Ofek Reef combined to go 11-15 from the field, and hit 5 of 6 threes. Max Leibowitz and Caleb Milobsky scored 8 points apiece; neither missed from the field. For St. Joseph’s, Frank Basile scored an even 30, as he recovered from a shaky start by becoming unstoppable in the second half.
What Did We Learn From Today’s W?
1) No Turell, No Problem
Today, the Macs shot 66.7% from the field, and 65% from 3
In the last three games, all of which were played without Ryan Turell, the Macs are averaging 86.7 points, while shooting 58.8% from the field, and 52.2% from three
Everyone on the team who has received significant minutes can shoot at a high percentage
For other Skyline teams, the thought that the Macs can produce offensively at such a high rate despite being without the top scorer in the conference is a scary one
2) The Defense Still Needs Work
Despite putting up excellent offensive numbers, the Golden Eagles were still within reach late in the game
Early on, the Macs played very poor defense, and allowed middle penetration, while failing to box out and communicate properly
While the defense has been improving as of late, there is still much work to be done
3) This Team is Clutch
When the Macs got into an early hole, the offense turned on the jets, scoring at a rate of more than three points per minute
When the game got uncomfortable late, they tightened things up defensively and converted on the majority of their shots
The Macs have won every competitive game they have played this season, with their only loss coming in a blowout in their season opener
With the win, the Macs improve to 9-1, and 5-0 in the Skyline Conference. They have now defeated every team in their division, and are in excellent position to run away with the regular-season title. The Macs will not play another Skyline game until January 22nd, as their remaining three matchups before winter break are out-of-conference. The Macs have the rest of the week off, as they don’t play until next Sunday, when they will head to Eastern Connecticut State.