In a back and forth affair at the Max Stern Athletic Center on Saturday night, the Saint Joseph’s College Golden Eagles took down the #15 ranked Yeshiva Maccabees by a score of 79-76. It was a close game all night, as the biggest lead for either team up until the closing seconds was a mere six points. With 16 lead changes and 10 ties, the game was up for the taking throughout the second half, and in the end Saint Joe’s was able to pull away and deliver the upset on the Macs home floor.
How it Happened:
Matthew Hirdt knocked down a three to give Saint Joe’s the early lead.
Ryan Mcneely hit back-to-back threes - the latter a four point play - to give the Golden Eagles a 29-25 with 6:10 left in first half.
Ofek Reef scored two straight layups to cut lead to 35-31 just before halftime.
Ryan Turell hit Yeshiva’s first three of the game with 18:48 left in the second half to trim the deficit to one.
Eitan Halpert hit his fourth straight three pointer, giving YU a 52-49 lead with 12:26 left.
Turell hit his second jumper in a row to break the tie and give the Macs a 4 point lead with 4:31 on the clock.
Alec Tabada came up clutch in the final two minutes, getting the go ahead layup to go with 1:35 left and throwing down an emphatic fast break dunk with nine seconds left to put the icing on the Golden Eagles’ victory.
Three Point Shooting:
It was a tale of two sides from beyond the arc, as the Golden Eagles shot an incredible 55.6% whereas the Macs struggled, shooting 22.2% from downtown. Saint Joe’s hit their first three on the opening possession and followed by making six more in the first half, while Yeshiva didn’t hit their first three until the second half.
The refs blew their whistles often tonight, calling a combined 38 fouls and leaving each team in foul trouble for a good chunk of the game. Macs’ big men Matan Zucker and Jordan Armstrong picked up quick fouls and were limited to 18 and 12 minutes respectively, forcing the Macs to play with a relatively smaller lineup than usual for crucial minutes. Saint Joe’s center, Spencer Malloy, was then able to take advantage in the paint and score some key buckets down the stretch, despite picking up four fouls himself.
As the saying goes, “A team is as strong as its bench,” and the Golden Eagles bench showed that tonight, scoring 23. Ryan McNeely stole the show with 17 of his own, sparking big runs for his team in each half of the game. On the other hand, the Macs only got a meager three from their reserves, hitting only one of their eight attempts from the floor.
For Saint Joseph’s College (13-8, 9-5):
Ryan McNeely paced the Golden Eagles with his 17 points, hitting three threes and giving his team some much needed energy off the bench.
Alec Tabada added 16 points and 4 rebounds, and showed off his athleticism on his two hand jam to put the game away in the waning seconds.
Grad student Gordon Shouler ran the offense very efficiently, scoring 14 points and only turning the ball over once in 35 minutes of action.
For Yeshiva (19-3,12-2):
Ryan Turell led the team with 32 points on 12-for-23 shooting, but his 5 turnovers proved costly in a 3 point loss.
Eitan Halpert scored 13, hitting four of his 10 shots from beyond the arc. All four came in the second half, keeping the Macs alive as the lead kept changing sides.
Ofek Reef was very efficient, shooting 6-for-9, enough for 14 points on the night.
The Macs head to Riverdale to take on the College of Mount Saint Vincent on Tuesday night. Tip off is scheduled for 8PM.