After being served their first Skyline loss of the season last game, it looked like the Macs might make it two straight tonight. The Macs entered halftime down by 13 points to The College at Old Westbury, but in the second half, fueled by all-time points leader Ryan Turell, the Macs fought back to win 75-69. Ball protection and solid defense weighed the Macs down during the first half. In the second half, Yeshiva made it a close game, but there was no sure victor until the last few seconds.
How it Happened:
The Macs won the tipoff, quickly followed by a three pointer from Eitan Halpert to open the scoring.
A layup from Halpert capped off the Macs’ 14-4 run in the first five minutes of play.
Next, the tide of the game turned in the Panthers’ favor when Nigel Carter made two threes followed by a jumper from Zachary Cummings to come back and tie it up at 12 with just over 12 minutes to go in the first half.
After the lead went back and forth between the Macs and the Panthers for a few minutes, the Panthers went on an 8-0 run capped off by a three pointer from Cummings at the 5:40 mark to begin to pull away from the Macs.
With a few seconds left in the half, Charles Wingate hit a jumper to give the Panthers a 13 point lead over the Macs entering halftime.
It did not even take 30 seconds for the Macs to begin their comeback in the second half, as Turell drained a three pointer to open the half.
Assisted by Halpert, a jumper from Ofek Reek with just under 15 minutes to go inched the Macs to within five points of the Panthers.
With 13:44 to go, Halpert made a three-pointer on which he was fouled and tied the game up at 48 each on the ensuing free throw.
After the lead shifted several times, Gabe Leifer's three-pointer gave the Macs a 69-64 lead.
Halpert put Yeshiva up 71-69 on a layup with just over 90 seconds left, regaining the lead for the Macs for the last time.
Reef sealed the game with a couple of free-throws with 30 seconds left.
Troubling First Half:
It is safe to say that the Macs did not have their best stuff tonight, and that was most apparent in the first half. In addition to only racking up 29 points, the Macs posted a 37.9 FG% in the first half. Relative to their average FG% of 54.6%, it was underwhelming. Furthermore, Yeshiva’s defense had its issues as well. In the first half, the Panthers posted a 51.6 FG%, which is significantly better than their average of 44.8%. That, combined with the fact that the Macs, on average, allow their opponents a 37.5 FG% and that the Panthers do not have a great record this season, exemplify the Macs’ shortcomings in the first half.
After starting out very slow, the Macs showed a significant recovery in the second half, paving the way for them to fight back offensively. In the first half, the Macs allowed a FG% of more than 50%, but in the second half, the Macs held the Panthers to a 25% FG%. Furthermore, the Macs’ allowance of three-pointers in the first half was largely responsible for the Panthers’ lead, but in the second half, the Macs held Old Westbury to 38.5% from deep, down from 58.3% in the first half. Additionally, the Macs only totaled 15 rebounds in the first half, while the Panthers had 19; however, in the second half, the Macs controlled the ball far better and racked up 25 rebounds while holding the Panthers to six.
For Old Westbury (9-11, 5-8 Skyline):
Zachary Cummings and Charles Wingate both led their team in scoring with 21 points each. Nigel Carter followed closely with 20 points.
Jordan Johnson-Rader led the Panthers with nine rebounds and Cummings followed him with six.
Cummings also led Old-Westbury with four assists and three steals racked up during his 40 minutes of play.
The Panthers shot 40% overall, 48% from behind the arc, and 86.7% on free-throws.
For Yeshiva (19-2, 12-1 Skyline):
Turell led the Macs with 26 points and went 5-5 on his free-throws.
Leifer led Yeshiva with nine rebounds and six assists, followed by Turell who racked up eight rebounds and three assists.
The Macs shot 47.4% overall, 40% from behind the arc, and 72.2% on free-throws.
The Macs continue Skyline play this Saturday evening, February 12th, when they are set to play Saint Joseph’s College of Long Island at home in the Max Stern Athletic Center at 8:30 PM.