On Thursday night, February 24th, the Yeshiva Maccabees will host the Mount Saint Vincent Dolphins in the Skyline Conference Tournament semi-finals. The #20 ranked Macs come into this game with a record of 22-3 and are ranked 3rd in the Skyline Conference. Yeshiva had a convincing win on Tuesday night against Purchase in the Skyline Conference quarter-finals, defeating them 101-66. The Macs were really sharp, as they executed almost flawlessly on both ends of the floor. The Dolphins enter this game with a 10-14 record and are 7-9 in conference play. They are led by junior guard Dan Porcic who is averaging 19 points per game, while shooting an impressive 42.5% from behind the arc. Mount Saint Vincent is also coming off a huge win as they upset United States Merchant Marine Academy in the Skyline Conference quarter-finals. The Dolphins will try to seek revenge Thursday night at the MSAC as they lost to Yeshiva on February 15th.
Keys to the game:
Defend the 3
As a team, the Dolphins shoot 35% from three and only 62% from the free throw line. Dan Porcic and Aaron Darab, their two best sharpshooters, shot a combined 12-19 from downtown in their upset against United States Merchant Marine Academy. The Macs cannot afford for Mount Saint Vincent’s shooters to get hot early. Instead, the Macs should play up on the three point shot and force their opponent to drive and capitalize on free throws. YU should make them earn their points.
Keep Moving that Ball
The Macs were swinging the ball from corner to corner to find the open shot in Tuesday night’s victory. They shot an efficient 8-17 from behind the arc (47%) and finished with 18 assists. Yeshiva had great dribble penetration that forced the defense to collapse which opened up their shooters. In addition, Gabe Leifer has been playing very Nikola Jokic-esque with his precision high post passing. If the Macs want to come out with the win, they have to continue moving without the ball and find the open man.
Yeshiva played smothering defense on Purchase this past Tuesday night. They forced 15 turnovers which led to 10 fast break points (including a slam dunk by Ryan Turrel). If the Macs continue to play smothering defense, the Dolphins might be in for a long night. The Dolphins are not so careful with the basketball as they average 17 turnovers per game. The Macs should look to be active in the passing lane and put pressure on the ball.
How to Watch:
Tip off is scheduled for 8:00pm. Watch the game here.