On Saturday night, February 19th, the Yeshiva Maccabees will host the St. Joseph’s College - Brooklyn Bears. The #24 ranked Macs are coming off their biggest win of the season. The Macs seemed to have been spiraling towards a collapse before a massive statement win against the #5 ranked team in the country Thursday night. Eitan Halpert came up huge in that game, hitting seven threes. Look for him to continue his hot shooting in this one. It is senior night for the Macs, as they will honor nearly half the team. This is the last game of the regular season, so Yeshiva will look to finish strong with a win against a weaker Bears squad. St. Joseph’s is coming into this game with a 3-21 record on the season. They have had their struggles putting the ball in the basket this year. Senior forward Chris Mikos has been their only source of consistent offensive production this year. He’s a double-double machine, averaging 21.6 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. If St. Joseph’s wants a shot at beating one of the top teams in the conference, they are going to need a big performance from Mikos.
Keys to the game:
Battle of the Bigs
Jordan Armstrong is no longer in the starting lineup for the Macs, but he had a monster game defensively last game, contributing seven blocks.
Chris Mikos is a scorer. He is 6’5” and can finish at the rim as well as anyone in the conference. Look for him to be super aggressive in this one as he tries to will his team to a victory.
It will be extremely important for Yeshiva’s bigs to lock down the paint and pull down as many boards as possible.
Matan Zucker and Armstrong are going to have their hands full, but if they can slow down Mikos, the Macs should cruise to a win.
Stay Hot from Behind the Arc
The Macs had gone through a brutal stretch shooting the three ball. They had a stretch of 4 out of 5 games hitting only 5 threes or fewer. Since then they have heated up, hitting 10 or more threes in four of their last six outings.
Eitan Halpert is going to play a huge role in any championship run aspirations. He’s the best shooter on the team, shooting an astonishing 49% from downtown this season. He hit 7 threes the other night, and when he’s feeling it, this offense is practically unstoppable.
Gabe Leifer has also been feeling it in the past two games. He’s been way more aggressive, shooting the ball more than he had all season. He is averaging 21 points in the past two games, more than 10 points higher than his season average. Look for him to continue being aggressive as he looks to lead his team on a championship run.
Clean Up the Details
With the Skyline playoffs approaching, Yeshiva should take this game against weaker competition as an opportunity to fine-tune some of the things they have been struggling with.
Figuring out the offensive game plan is a good start. There has been a lot of talk about if the motion offense, which does not feature the on-ball screen, is going to work against better competition come playoff time. Look for Yeshiva to try to implement some different sets in this one, like they did the other night against St. Joseph’s (CT).
Turnovers have been the achilles’ heel for the Macs this season. If there’s one thing to focus on to clean up for the postseason, it’s taking care of the ball. The Macs average 14.3 turnovers per game. Hopefully they can stay under that number in this one.
How to Watch:
Tip off at the MSAC is at 8:30 PM. Macslive will broadcast the game live here.