On Saturday night, February 12th, the Yeshiva Maccabees will host the St. Joseph’s College–Long Island Golden Eagles. The #15 ranked Macs are coming off a nail-biting win against Old Westbury on Wednesday, giving them a 19-2 record on the season. The Macs are going through a bit of a rough stretch in their season right now, partly due to an uptick in level of competition. After a few shaky shooting games, they found some rhythm from deep the other night, shooting 8 for 20 from behind the arc. They lost their second game of the season last week against Farmingdale State, a team that the Golden Eagles fell to by 11 points on Wednesday. St. Joseph’s comes into the game with a 12-8 record, but prior to that loss against the Rams, they had won 6 in a row. The Golden Eagles are led by sophomore big man Spencer Malloy, who is averaging 15.4 points per game, and by freshman Alec Tabada, who is scoring 14.2 points per contest. This team has played good competition tight this season, so don’t expect a blowout like the last time these two teams played each other earlier in the year, in what was St. Joseph’s third game played since the conclusion of the 2020 season.
Keys to the game:
Take Care of the Ball
One of the Macs’ biggest flaws this season has been the carelessness with which they play sometimes.
The Macs average 14.5 turnovers per game. That’s too many. Turnovers happen, but they need to be better moving forward.
Last game against Old Westbury, Yeshiva had 18 turnovers compared to just 15 assists.
The Golden Eagles average 9.1 steals per game. It’s going to be crucial for the YU guards to take care of the ball in this one, or they will give St. Joseph’s a shot at pulling off the upset.
The Macs have been extremely inconsistent as of late. They scored 96 points against Sarah Lawrence, but the next two games they were held way below their average, scoring 75 points in each contest.
Turnovers haven’t helped, but Yeshiva’s shooting numbers have also been significantly down. YU is shooting 52% from within the arc in those games, which is well below their 62% two-point field goal percentage they average this season.
The Macs need to get to the rim from the low post and off of cuts, and finish on their opportunities more often.
Stop Dribble Penetration
Allowing for dribble penetration has been a huge gap in the Macs' defense.
Farmingdale State guard Jevon Santos tore them up in the first half of that game by blowing past defenders and drawing in helpside defense, allowing him to kick to open cutters and shooters on the wing.
The Macs did better in the second half of shutting down this action by putting Turell’s length and quickness on him, but it wasn’t enough to come back and win the game. Farmingdale State shot 58.8% from three that game, mostly because of how open they were off drive and kicks.
The same problem happened in the Old Westbury game. The Panthers shot 48% from downtown.
The Macs have to find a way to stay in front on defense and not allow any penetration that can allow for a solid shooting team like St. Joseph’s to get hot off wide-open catch-and-shoot threes.
How to Watch:
Tip off at the MSAC is at 8:30 PM. Macslive will broadcast the game live here.