Macs Get Hot from Three; Pull Away in the Second Half to Secure First Win
The Macs secured their first win of the 2022-2023 season after beating the Webster University Gorloks 75-58. The Macs trailed by double digits early in the first half before coming back and taking a 28-26 lead after Oren Betesh connected on a three-pointer at the buzzer. In the second half, the Macs began to get into a rhythm from the three and extended the lead to 20 late in the game. Zevi Samet and Oren Betesh combined to make 14 three-pointers. Samet finished with 23 points and Betesh with 21. Matan Zucker had one of his best all-around games as a Mac, finishing with a triple-double. Zucker was able to take advantage of the Webster zone and found open shooters on the perimeter. Webster kept it close early in the second half and even took the lead at one point, but could not hold on to it.
The Macs struggled out of the gate, trailing 9-0 after the first four minutes. Roy Itcovichi connected on a midrange jumper to give the Macs their first points of the game. Zevi Samet made his first three-pointer of the game to cut the Macs’ deficit to 19-9 with under 10 minutes in the first half. Wynne Brown Jr. was excellent in the first half, hitting a jumper that gave the Gorloks a 26-23 lead with two minutes remaining. Oren Betesh’s buzzer-beating three-pointer put the Macs up 28-26 going into halftime.
The second half saw the Macs begin to extend their lead as they began to pick apart the Webster zone defense that gave them a tough time in the first half. A jumper by Jemard Sykes gave the Gorloks a 38-37 lead, which would end up being the last time they had a lead in the game. A Zevi Samet three-pointer gave the Macs a 48-40 lead with under 11 minutes in the game. Gav Landau scored his first points of the season on a three that gave the Macs a 59-46 lead. Oren Betesh put the finishing touches on a dominant performance, hitting his seventh three to put the Macs up 75-53 with two minutes left in the game.
First Half Struggle:
After a thrilling game against Illinois Wesleyan last night, there was concern about how well the Macs would respond today. To start the game, they looked tired and sluggish and fell into an early deficit. The Macs shot just four of 16 from three in the first half, which gave them problems against the Webster zone defense. The Macs slowly cut into the deficit and ultimately took a lead into the halftime break.
The Gorloks played with a zone defense in this game, which gave the Macs lots of good looks from the perimeter. In the first half, the Macs struggled to capitalize on those chances. In the second half, the Macs finally hit their stride and connected on 11 of 14 three-point attempts. This allowed the Macs to push their lead into double digits and maintain this lead until the end.
Points in the Paint:
The Macs had just 18 points in the paint this afternoon compared to the Gorloks' 32. Fortunately, this did not affect the outcome of the game, as they were dominant from the perimeter. Look to see how this plays out throughout the year— the Macs have a clear strength in their shooting ability, while their ability to score in the paint isn’t as strong.
Matan Zucker had an all-around great game, culminating in a triple-double. His final stat line was 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists.
Zevi Samet had another great game, scoring 23 points and making seven threes.
Oren Betesh had his best game as a Mac, finishing with 21 points on seven three-pointers. Betesh went 7-11 from the three-point line.
The Macs shot 30-68 (44.1%) from the field and 15-30 (50%) from three.
Wynne Brown Jr. led the way for the Gorloks, with 26 points on 11-24 shooting.
Karl Moore had another double-double, with 10 points and 15 rebounds.
The Gorloks shot 25-68 (36.8%) from the field and 3-15 (20%) from three.
The Macs return home for their opener against Skyline Conference opponent St Joseph’s University of Brooklyn. The game will tip off at 8 pm on Wednesday, November 16.
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