The Macs look to extend their five-game winning streak on Tuesday night, when they face off against a familiar foe in Old Westbury. The Panthers began their year with three losses, but after losing an OT thriller to Marywood on Friday, they came back strong on Saturday to get their first win. For Old Westbury, this is a revenge game, as the Macs crushed the Panthers by 33 in the Skyline Semifinals last season. YU also beat Old Westbury in their two regular season matchups; while both wins were by more than 20 points, the Panthers were within reach in both games with under 10 minutes remaining.
Old Westbury features a very similar team to the one which received the 3 seed in the Skyline Conference last year. The main differences? The Panthers lost their top scorer, and 2018-19 First-Team All-Conference member, Alan McDonald. However, they brought in two junior transfers from Nassau Community College, in Charles Wingate and Cameron Winston, who have had an immediate impact, with both averaging over 14 points/game this season. Other notable players for Old Westbury include seniors Justin Alleyne-Washington and Pedro Marquez. Both averaged more than 16 points/game last year, and are the leaders of this team. The Panthers still like to get out and run, and try to create early offense. This is also an athletic and quick team, which is full-court oriented, and performs better when running than when playing in a halfcourt offense.
Keys to the Game:
1) Prevent early Panthers offense
There is no doubt about it, Old Westbury loves to run the court and play a fast-paced game. The Macs need to get back in transition, and force the Panthers to slow the ball down. This will allow for YU’s halfcourt defense to settle in, where the Macs are much better suited to stop Old Westbury from scoring. If the Panthers are unable to create early offense, the Old Westbury faithful will be in for a long night.
2) Get points off the press
Old Westbury also loves to press opponents and speed up the game. The Macs could simply break the press and slow the ball down, but that will not improve their chances of winning this matchup. What will? If the Macs can get someone—say, Gabe Leifer—behind the press, all they need is one good pass, and the Skyline Conference MVP will be 1-on-1 five feet from the hoop. The Macs should take advantage of all opportunities which arise from the Panthers’ press, and try to score easy buckets off of a quick break.
3) Neutralize Marquez’s slashing
Many of these Panthers players love to utilize their quickness and athleticism by slashing to the basket. Among them is Pedro Marquez. Marquez is a lefty, and prefers to both shoot from the left side of the court and dribble with his strong hand. A great way to neutralize Marquez is to force him to use his weak hand when slashing, and keep him on the right side of the basket. This will make the senior uncomfortable, and potentially cause him to miss numerous close shots.
How to Watch/Follow:
This in-conference matchup gets underway at 8:00 PM. MacsLive will be broadcasting the game, beginning at approximately 7:55; click here to watch. If you would like to follow the game without watching, click here to access our in-game scoreboard. After the game, make sure to check out our game recap. Let’s Go Macs!