Updated: Nov 15
The Macs were down 13 points towards the end of the first half, but they stormed back to defeat the SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons in the Michael A. Freilich Tournament 84-79 for their first win. While it wasn’t the prettiest victory, the Macs refused to quit and got the job done tonight.
How it Happened:
The Macs started very slow, allowing the Red Dragons to score on the first three possessions, and looked lazy on the glass; Oneonta took a 10-4 lead three minutes in.
The Macs started to claw back within three points but took their foot off the gas pedal, allowing the Red Dragons to score eight consecutive points to take a 25-14 lead
The Macs had major struggles on both sides of the ball throughout the first half as Zevi Samet was ice cold, going 1-7 in the first half. The Macs couldn’t figure out how to run their motion offense.
The Red Dragons took a 13-point lead at one point but started to struggle offensively toward the end of the first half. Still, they managed to take a 45-37 lead into the break.
The Macs picked things up to start the second half, clawing back to within two points in the first four minutes, but the Red Dragons took a six-point lead.
After some back-and-forth play, the Macs continued to heat up offensively, taking their first lead with a Max Zakheim layup with 11:21 to go.
After some more back-and-forth, Max Zakheim successfully converted a huge and-one on a putback with seven minutes to go to put the Macs up by three points. The Macs didn’t surrender the lead after that.
While the Red Dragons tried to chip away at the lead down the stretch, Zevi Samet hit two key free throws with 18.8 seconds left to put the Macs up by four and ice the game.
The Macs rallied behind Max Zakheim's double-double, for an 84-79 win over Oneonta, their first victory of the season. (Photo Credit: Akiva Poppers/ Macs Live)
Struggles from Downtown:
Both teams struggled immensely from beyond the arc tonight, with SUNY Oneonta finishing 5-27 (18.5%) and the Macs shooting 4-25 (16%). Zevi Samet noticeably went 0-7 from deep tonight, having difficulty getting things going all night. Or Sundjyvsky was the only Macs player to hit multiple three-pointers tonight, as he continues to show how important he is for the Macs’ offense.
Inside Defense Struggles:
Interior defense continues to be a struggle for the Macs in the early part of the season; they allowed 46 points in the paint and 16 offensive rebounds. The Macs looked very slow at points, especially in the first half and in the final minute of the second half. The Macs desperately need someone to step up defensively inside the paint now that Matan Zucker has graduated. It’s a big problem when the rebounding leaders are guards Max Zakheim (with eight) and Zevi Samet (with seven).
Bend, Don’t Break:
While the Macs had a sloppy performance tonight, they still managed to pull off the win. Part of this is due to a lack of execution with the motion offense that propelled them to a 50-game win streak just two years ago, as well as their struggles defensively. On the other hand, the Macs didn’t let the large first-half deficit get into their heads too much and ended up outscoring SUNY Oneonta 47-34 in the second half.
For SUNY Oneonta (1-1 Overall, 0-0 SUNYAC):
Graham Wooden led the way in scoring with 14 points, while Javen Flowers-Smith and Elijah Castillo each had 13 points.
Flowers-Smith and Tyler Harts led the Red Dragons in rebounds, with eight apiece.
The Red Dragons shot 30-75 from the field (40.0%) but struggled from downtown, only shooting 5-27 (18.5%) from three-point range.
For Yeshiva (1-1 Overall, 0-0 Skyline):
Or Sundjyvsky and Max Zakheim led the Macs in scoring, putting up 21 and 19 points respectively.
Assists were slightly up from the last game; the Macs had 12 assists— including three each from Sundjyvsky and Dothan Bardichev— an increase from nine against St. Joseph’s on Wednesday night.
While the Macs were out-rebounded 16-10 on the offensive glass, they still had the same number of defensive rebounds as SUNY Oneonta, with 28. Zevi Samet led the way with seven defensive rebounds, while Max Zakheim had five.
The Macs shot 30-70 (42.9%) from the field, as well as 20-25 (80%) from the free-throw line.
The Macs resume play at the Michael A. Freilich Tournament tomorrow at 1:00 PM at Dewar Arena vs. SUNY Geneseo (1-1 Overall, 0-0 SUNYAC) before heading home and playing Mt. St Mary’s on Wednesday at 8:00 for their home and Skyline Conference opener.
Matthew Loren. His first at Macs Live!