The Macs lost to the Nichols Bison 97-92, dropping their second straight game and falling to 3-3 on the season. While it was a hard-fought game, the Macs failed to capitalize on quite a few opportunities late, and they ended up dropping both ends of what is surely to be a disappointing back-to-back.
How it Happened:
After the Bison won the opening tip, Max Zakheim opened the game with a steal and fastbreak score on the first possession.
Both teams were hot from 3 to start, with the Macs converting their first 5 threes, but Or Sundjyvsky sustained a scary-looking injury only 4 and a half minutes in after drawing a hard foul from Mykel Derring. Thankfully, Or returned just 1:56 later.
The Macs jumped out to a 23-12 lead just over five minutes in. Shortly thereafter, Nichols started to put pressure on the Macs, going on a 7-0 run while the Macs turned the ball over 5 times in just over 2 minutes.
A major sequence in the game occurred with 2:42 left in the first half when Max Zakheim was called for a block on what appeared to be a charge to most in attendance. This came just minutes after Gav Landau was called for a block on a bang-bang play. Coach Steinmetz picked up his first technical of the season immediately, and the Bison hit all of their free throws, resulting in a 5-point swing.
The Macs went into the half down 50-45, and in the first 3 minutes of the 2nd half, the Bison went on a 7-3 run, employing a full-court press that stifled the Macs offensively.
The Bison just looked dominant during the early going of the 2nd half, jumping out to an 11-point lead, but started to look a little sloppy around the midway point of the 2nd, allowing the Macs to pull within three points with 5:33 left to go.
Late in the game, the Macs had a few clutch opportunities that they failed to capitalize on, going 6-12 from the field and committing 2 turnovers in the last 5 minutes, which allowed the Bison to pull off a 97-92 victory.
The Macs dropped back-back home tilts against non-Conference opponents over the weekend.(Photo Credit: Akiva Poppers/MacsLive)
Contribution from the kids:
While Ben Haber, who had a breakout game vs NYU last night, was held off the scoresheet in 7 minutes of play today, it is important to note that so far this season, 98.2% of the points scored by the Macs so far this season have been scored by guys in their first or second year of NCAA eligibility, with Zevi Samet, Or Sundjyvsky and Max Zakheim leading the way with 131, 125, and 104 points respectively. Even though the Macs are 3-3 to start the season, they really have a bright future ahead and should only look to improve as the season progresses.
The Macs continued to struggle immensely guarding the perimeter, allowing a lot of looks for wide open three-pointers, as the Bison went 8-19 (42.1%) from downtown today. There were a lot of times where it seemed like the defense broke down and the Macs were left scrambling; they allowed more than 95 points for the second consecutive game and this is only the fifth time in Elliot Steinmetz’s 10 years at the helm. On the bright side, the early-season defensive struggles can be very beneficial to the Macs now that their flaws have been revealed to both them and opponents as they improve upon them.
For Nichols (4-1 Overall, 0-0 CCC):
Tavon Jones led the Bison in scoring tonight with 30 points in 35 minutes, including 20 in the second half and going 12-15 from the free throw line. Dominic Mello finished with the second-highest number of points for the Bison, scoring 15 points.
The Bison capitalized on a lot of opportunities from the free-throw line, hitting 27 of their 33 free throws today.
The Bison outrebounded the Macs 36-30, with Simon Percy grabbing a team-high of 8 boards today. Tavon Jones and Deshaun Nettles finished with 7 boards each.
For Yeshiva (3-3 Overall, 1-0 Skyline):
The Big 3 of Max Zakheim, Zevi Samet and Or Sundjyvsky really showed up tonight, recording 26, 25 and 20 points respectively. These 3 contributed 71 of the Macs’ 92 points tonight.
Dothan Bardichev and Roy Itcovichi led the Macs with 6 rebounds apiece, while Max Zakheim grabbed 5 boards.
The Macs made 35-67 shots (52.2%), including shooting an impressive 13-26 (50%) from beyond the arc today. Zevi Samet led the Macs with 4 threes.
The Macs finished with an impressive 22 assists today, with Zevi Samet and Dothan Bardichev each recording 5.
The Macs are back in action this Tuesday night, as they play their first of three consecutive Skyline Conference games against the College of Mount Saint Vincent Dolphins (1-3 Overall, 0-0 Skyline) in Riverdale, NY at 7:00 PM.