On a night when Zevi Samet became the fastest player in Macs history to reach 1,000 career points, the Macs avenged their lone Skyline Conference loss with a 72-59 victory over the Manhattanville Valiants. With tonight’s win, led by Samet, Dothan Bardichev, Roy Itcovichi and Yoav Oselka, the Macs entrenched themselves in a prime position to clinch one of the top two seeds in the Skyline Conference Tournament.
Zevi Samet became the fastest player in Macs history to reach 1,000 career points as the Macs avenged their lone Skyline loss in a 72-59 rout of the Valiants. (Photo Credit: Ezra Rosenfeld/MacsLive)
How it Happened:
The night started with Andrew St. Louis and Dothan Bardichev trading threes on each team’s first possession.
A dry spell for both teams saw neither team hit a basket for three and a half minutes. Ryan Giordano ended that run for the Valiants with a layup just under 6 minutes into the game, giving them a 9-8 edge.
With 13:31 left in the first half, Zevi Samet buried a three from the wing to become the 32nd member of the Macs’ 1,000-point club, also tying the game at 11 apiece.
The Macs jumped out to a 20-14 lead just over the halfway point of the first half, thanks to consecutive threes from Adi Markovich and Roy Itcovichi. Subsequently, the Macs held the Valiants to a paltry 3 of 13 from the field for the remainder of the half.
The Macs went on an 8-0 run over the last 3:52 of the first, which included Tommy Lotito missing two free throws and Adi Markovich drawing a charge on St. Louis. The Macs took a 34-22 lead into the locker room energized after putting the clamps on a lifeless Manhattanville team.
The Macs picked up right where they left off as Samet sank a layup on their first possession and quickly rushed out to a 40-23 lead two minutes into the final half.
The Valiants suffered through nearly a 10 minute drought without a field goal, shooting 0-for-9 in that span. Daniel Marinaccio broke that streak by drilling a three just under 6 minutes into the second half.
In his home debut, Yoav Oselka energized the crowd by converting two consecutive and-one opportunities, ballooning the Yeshiva lead to 24 points with just under 12 minutes left.
The Valiants then initiated full-court pressure, stifling the Macs and enabling a 10-2 run to cut the deficit to 16 with six minutes left in the game.
During the game's final stretch, the Macs started getting too passive as the Valiants’ full-court press continued to smother them. They turned the ball over nine times over seven minutes. They managed to close out a 72-59 win, however.
The Macs put forth arguably their best defensive game of the season, suffocating the Valiants’ dribble-drive offense and limiting them to 30 points in the paint. The Macs also did an incredible job on the glass, bringing down a season-high 47 rebounds, including 12 offensive boards. The Macs also did a good job of closing out on Manhattanville three-pointer shooters, holding the Valiants to just 4-19 from behind the arc.
Yoav Oselka made his long-awaited Max Stern Athletic Center debut tonight after suffering a high ankle sprain in the season’s second game vs. SUNY Oneonta. He showed exactly what he can add to this Macs team moving forward. The 6’7 forward from Givatayim, Israel was a force on the court, putting up 10 points, earning three and-one opportunities, and grabbing seven rebounds. His four offensive rebounds were a game-high. Yoav should combine with Dothan Bardichev to form an effective frontcourt duo long-term for the Macs.
The Macs played a really efficient offensive game, setting a lot of screens and utilizing their patented motion offense to exploit Manhattanville’s defense, even without Max Zakheim. The Macs shot the ball well tonight, going 27-for-63 (42.9%) from the field, and they looked to take smart shots, especially in the first half and in the early going of the second half. The Macs play their best basketball when they play focused and atack-oriented rather than playing not to lose. It’s also important to note that the Valiants reverted back to a man defense as opposed to playing their zone defense that limited the Macs earlier this season.
For Manhattanville (13-6 Overall, 7-4 Skyline):
Tommy Lotito led the Valiants in both points and assists, recording 17 and 5, respectively.
Ryan Giordano also had a nice game tonight, scoring 13 points and bringing down 5 rebounds.
The Valiants shot 22-56 (39.3%) from the field tonight, including 4-19 (21.1%) from downtown.
The Valiants struggled mightily at the free-throw line tonight, only converting 11 of 20 tries for a 55% clip.
For Yeshiva (13-7 Overall, 10-1 Skyline):
Zevi Samet joined the 1,000 point club in just his 46th career game, breaking the record of 47 games held by Ryan Turell. He finished with 16 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
Dothan “The Bardichever” Bardichev scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, good for team-highs in both categories.
Adi Markovich led the Macs with 8 dimes on the night, the most by any player on the floor.
While the Macs shot 6-11 (42.9%) from beyond the arc in the first half, they failed to drain a three in the second half, going 0-for-9.
The Macs outrebounded the Valiants 47-28 tonight.
The Macs continue their playoff push on Thursday at 7:30 PM, taking on the Purchase Panthers at the Purchase College Gymnasium. After that, the Macs return home for Alumni Night and their biggest game of the season, taking on the Farmingdale State Rams on Saturday night in a battle that could decide the top seed in the Skyline Conference Tournament. Pregame festivities start at 7:30 PM, and tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 PM.
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