The last time Yeshiva University played Mount Saint Mary College, the Macs breezed by the Knights, winning 89-49. 11 months later, the Knights scored 41 points on the Macs before halftime. Nevertheless, the Macs were able to get themselves together in the second half to first keep the game close and eventually jump ahead of the Knights and win 90-72.
After the Knights won the tip, Dothan Bardichev opened the scoring with a pair of free throws. With the help of some decent shooting by Oren Betesh and Roy Itcovichi, the Macs held the lead for the most part of the first 10 minutes of play. However, Connor Cryan and Jayden Racca’s shooting ensured that the Knights were no more than five points behind during that stretch. Yeshiva’s shooting troubles soon caught up to them, and the Macs became the ones playing catch-up for much of the remainder of the first half. It was largely thanks to more shooting by Betesh that the Knights were not able to pull away too much; the half finished with them leading the Macs, 41-39.
Just looking at the score, the second half began just as how much of the first half played out; the Knights held a lead, but the Macs managed to stay close behind them. However, the Macs were determined to play better for the rest of the game. In the middle of the half, the Macs went on a 13-3 run to jump a bit ahead. This was the point at which the Macs really found their stride. Zevi Samet made up for a disappointing first half, Betesh continued to shoot, and Matan Zucker hit a rare three-pointer. The different members of the team worked together to jump ahead to what reached a 14-point lead, and the Macs ended up walking away with a 12-point win.
No matter what the game result happens to be, Yeshiva rarely seems to shake its turnover problems. The Macs racked up 21 turnovers throughout Saturday’s game and allowed the Knights to steal the ball 13 times. Meanwhile, the Knights allowed only eight turnovers and gave up just five steals. If the Macs wish to be more competitive against teams like New York University, to whom they lost 108-67 on Thursday, this issue must be at the top of the list of things to be addressed.
Second Half Rebound
The Macs brought much of their recent troubles into the first half of this game. Both the offense and defense looked lost when they went 12 for 29 from the floor while allowing the Knights to go 17 for 33 from the floor. As the second half commenced, the Macs looked much different. They still struggled with turning the ball over, but their defense deflated Mount Saint Mary’s field goal percentage and held them to 20% on three-pointers. Meanwhile, Yeshiva was able to make 18 of 27 shots from the floor in the second half, in addition to eight of 14 three-point shots.
For Mount Saint Mary College (2-6, 0-1 Skyline):
Jayden Figueroa led the Knights with 26 points, landing nine of his fifteen field goals and two of his three three-pointers.
Connor Cryan totaled 16 points with four rebounds and two assists.
Jayden Racca scored 10 points and went two for two on his free throws.
Mount Saint Mary was good on 48.4% of field goals, 26.7% of three-pointers, and 50% of its free throws.
For Yeshiva (6-4, 4-1 Skyline):
Itcovichi gathered 22 points and 14 rebounds, earning himself a double-double.
Betesh led the Macs in scoring with 25 points; he went eight for 11 from the floor and six for eight from behind the arc.
The Macs shot 53.6% field goals, with 51.7% from behind the arc, and 78.9% on free throws.
The Macs head to the College of Mount Saint Vincent this Monday to face the Dolphins for another Skyline Conference matchup. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 PM in the Peter Jay Sharp Center.