In a fast-paced thriller at the Silloway Gymnasium on Wednesday night, the Wesleyan Cardinals came back to take down the Yeshiva Maccabees 87-84. The two teams were neck and neck all night, with the biggest lead in the game remaining less than five until midway through the second half when the Macs were able to gain some separation and lead by a commanding 11 points with 7:20 left to play. The Cardinals did not quit, however, and they knocked down clutch shot after clutch shot en route to a hard-fought come-from-behind victory on their home floor.
The first half could not have been any closer, as the teams traded buckets for much of the period with neither able to gain any sort of substantial lead. Zevi Samet knocked down a three to give the Macs a 30-26 lead with 5:33 to go in the half, and from then on, the baskets seemed to double in size, as the teams combined for 31 in the last five minutes of the half. Yeshiva took a three-point lead into the locker room at the break.
It was a different story in the second half, as the Macs broke away from the Cardinals and appeared to have a solid grip on this game heading into the final stretch. After Roy Itcovichi knocked down a three to give the Macs an 11-point lead, Wesleyan went on an 11-2 run over the next two-plus minutes to come within two points of the Macs with 4:51 remaining. The Cardinals tied it up after a few Nicky Johnson free throws and with 42 seconds left, Gabe Ravetz hit a layup to give Wesleyan the lead. The lead was extended to four and then Samet knocked down a three with four seconds left to cut the deficit to one and keep the Macs’ hopes alive. After two Wesleyan free throws, Itcovichi couldn’t handle the inbound, and Wesleyan’s Steven Johnson grabbed the ball to secure the win for his team.
The teams were just about even in almost every category except for one: free throw shooting. Yeshiva committed 19 fouls while Wesleyan only picked up nine, and that difference in fouls gave the Cardinals more free-throw opportunities than the Macs. Yeshiva shot 9-11 from the charity stripe while Wesleyan was 20-27.
Yeshiva’s young side shined through at the end of the game as the more experienced Wesleyan roster overwhelmed the freshman-laden Macs squad. No lead is safe, and the Macs learned that the hard way tonight.
For Wesleyan (11-5):
Preston Maccoux had an incredible game, leading all scorers with 35 points.
Gabe Ravetz scored 13 points in 25 minutes off the bench.
Shackylle Dezonie scored eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
For Yeshiva (8-8, 6-2):
Zevi Samet led the Macs with 25 points in 36 minutes of play.
Max Zakheim had his best game thus far as a Mac, scoring 23 points to go along with nine rebounds and three assists.
The Macs play at home for the first time in nearly a month as they take on University of Mary Washington on Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 PM.