The Farmingdale State Rams gave the Macs a tough battle on Wednesday night, but the Macs were able to hold on to win 80-66 and advance to 9-0 on the season. The Rams defense was exceptional in the first half, forcing nine Yeshiva turnovers and limiting the Macs to just three free throw attempts, keeping the game close. YU once again started strong in the second half to take the lead into double digits, but the Rams fought back and cut the lead down to 10 with a few minutes to play. This is the first game this season that the Macs have not won by at least 20 points. The Macs were able to convert on some free throws down the stretch to seal their 45th consecutive win and their first win as the #1 ranked team in the country.
How it Happened:
Tre Riggins and Aaron Davis knocked down back-to-back triples to give the Rams a 6-0 lead to start the game.
Eitan Halpert put the Macs on the board with a floater off the glass to cut the lead to 6-2.
Ryan Turell picked up two early fouls just 4 minutes into the game, forcing him to the bench.
Five consecutive points from Ofek Reef cut the YU deficit to 14-12 with 12:30 to play in the half.
Reef threw down a one-handed slam off a steal to give the Macs their first lead of the game at 17-16.
Gabe Leifer found Turell alone at the other end for an easy dunk to give the Macs a 23-16 lead and force a Farmingdale State timeout.
Halpert connected on his third three of the game to give the Macs a 34-24 lead with under 5 minutes left in the half.
Corey Powell hit a three for the Rams to cut the Macs lead to 36-31 with under 3 minutes remaining in the half. Yeshiva would enter the locker room up 38-35.
Jordan Armstrong got the Macs on the board to start the second half with a gorgeous post move to push the Macs lead to 40-35.
Turell was fouled on a 3-point attempt and converted on all three free throws to give the Macs a 59-46 lead with 11 minutes remaining.
Turell capped off an 11-0 Macs run with a euro step in transition to give the Macs a 65-46 lead with 9 minutes to play.
A steal and a layup by Aaron Davis cut the Macs lead to 69-58 with 5 minutes left.
A great pass from Turell to an open Matan Zucker for a layup gave the Macs a 75-63 lead with 2:30 minutes to play. Yeshiva would go on to an 80-66 victory.
Free throw shooting:
The Macs struggled at times to find rhythm offensively in this game, but were able to get to the free throw line for easy points. The Macs ended the game making 15 of their 18 attempts from the line, including 12 of 15 in the second half. Ryan Turell did not have a great game from the field, but was able to do damage from the line, where he shot a perfect 9-9. The Macs were able to limit the Rams to 12 free throw attempts in the game and just two in the second half.
Second chance opportunities:
The Macs had seven offensive rebounds while the Rams had nine, but the Macs were able to convert those boards into 11 second chance points. The Rams struggled on second chance opportunities, scoring just two points off of their nine offensive rebounds. In a tight game like tonight, it was crucial that the Macs took advantage of those second chance opportunities.
Eitan Halpert’s return to the lineup:
After missing the last game against Manhattanville, Eitan Halpert returned to the lineup against the Rams. When early foul trouble forced Turell to the bench, Halpert stepped up and took control of the Macs’ offense, as he connected on 3 of 5 attempts from behind the arc in the first half. Halpert finished with a team-leading 22 points on 8-12 shooting from the field.
For Farmingdale State:
Corey Powell and Aaron Davis each had 14 points to lead the Rams.
Dominique Senat and Tre Higgins both had 13 points and 5 rebounds.
The Rams shot 43.9% overall and 7-22 from behind the arc.
Eitan Halpert led the Macs with 22 points on 4-8 shooting from three.
Ryan Turell had 21 points and 3 assists while shooting a perfect 9-9 from the line.
Ofek Reef finished with 15 points.
Gabe Leifer had 4 points, 11 assists and 9 rebounds.
The Macs shot 52% overall and 7 of 19 from behind the arc.
The Macs will host the College at Old Westbury on Saturday night. Tip off is scheduled for 8:30 PM. Watch live here.