Itcovichi Plays Hero; Defense Holds Off Amherst College
Yeshiva University’s defense was the difference-maker on Sunday amidst laborious efforts by both teams from which Yeshiva emerged on top by a score of 61-57. The Macs’ defense was just enough to hold off Amherst College as its own defense was also able to hold off the Macs’ offense from getting too comfortable. Zevi Samet continued to have some trouble landing shots after his hot start to the season, and Roy Itcovichi played hero with a few late points.
After winning the tip, Dothan Bardichev quickly opened the scoring with a three-pointer. For the ensuing five minutes, the lead switched back and forth between the Macs and the Mammoths until a pair of three-pointers from Bardichev and Oren Betesh put Yeshiva on top by six. Amherst quickly responded with a run of their own, taking a three-point lead. The two teams exchanged the lead for the remainder of the half until Samet hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give the Macs a three-point lead entering halftime.
The second half was jam-packed with sloppy play by both sides. Amidst significant trouble with controlling the ball, the Macs repeatedly tried to gain a comfortable lead. Still, Amherst managed to stay in the game due to strong shooting by C.J. Mitchel and Charlie Randall. The half carried on slowly and quietly with neither team managing to get much going on offense. The Macs struggled to keep up with Amherst’s tight defense and Amherst struggled to land its shots. Tied with about two minutes to go, the Macs played some of their most gritty basketball of the season. Layups by Bardichev and Itcovichi handed the Macs a small lead, which would not have been possible without the turnovers that Yeshiva’s stellar defense forced. Canin Reynolds then cut the lead down to two with a three-pointer with 30 seconds left. A pair of free throws by Oren Betesh was then enough to end it with the Macs beating the Mammoths 61-57.
Macs on Offense:
For much of the game, and particularly for most of the second half, the Macs looked like they had nowhere to go against the tight man defense that the Mammoths were playing. Much of the Macs' game tends to be centered around the three-pointer. In the first half, the Macs were good on seven of 15 three-pointers, but in the second half were good on just four of 11. In the face of this defense, the Macs had trouble even getting shots up, much less making them.
The Mammoths entered the match as the favored team. Their turnovers, however, got the best of them. Particularly in the second half, the team exhibited significant difficulty controlling the basketball. They had issues landing their shots, but that would not have been as much of an issue if they had not turned the ball over 26 times throughout the game. It was not just that they were missing rebounds, but they were also allowing the Macs to steal the ball far too often while committing mental errors. The Macs committed 11 fewer turnovers during the game.
For Amherst College (2-3, 0-0 NESCAC):
Mitchell led the Mammoths with 15 points, landing six of his nine field goals and three of his four three-pointers.
Ryker Vance earned eight rebounds and Randall had seven of his own.
Amherst was good on 51.2% of field goals, 50% of three-pointers, and 44.4% of its free throws.
For Yeshiva (4-3, 2-1 Skyline):
Itcovichi was the difference this game earning 15 points, four rebounds, and three assists.
Samet led the Macs in scoring, with 20 points, although he did miss 12 of his 20 field goal attempts and eight of his 11 three-point attempts.
The Macs shot 42.3% field goals, with 42.3% from behind the arc, and 54.5% on free throws.
The Macs head to Manhattanville College to face the Valiants for a Skyline Conference matchup. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM in the Kennedy Gymnasium.
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