Macs Heat Up in Second Half, Take Down Saint Joseph 87-76
The Yeshiva Maccabees hosted the #5 University of Saint Joseph Bluejays and came out with a dramatic win in the bleacher-filled Max Stern Athletic Center on Thursday night. In a season where the Macs’ strength of schedule has been heavily criticized, they proved that they can hang with the top teams in the nation as they took down a very talented Saint Joseph squad and handed them their first loss of the season. The game was very close throughout, with no lead ever reaching double digits until the closing minutes. Saint Joseph established the lead early, but the Macs were able to crawl back and come out with the victory in front of their home crowd.
How it Happened:
Ryan Turell dived for a loose ball and passed it to Eitan Halpert who knocked down a three to give the Macs the early 3-0 lead.
Ryan O’Neill buried a three to give the BlueJays a 39-30 lead with 3:05 left in the first half.
Halpert hit his fourth three of the first half to cut the deficit to five just before halftime.
Matan Zucker grabbed the offensive rebound and put it back to cap a 10-2 Yeshiva run to start the second half and take a 50-47 lead.
After the teams exchanged a few baskets, Turell hit his second three in as many minutes to trim the Saint Joseph lead to just two. He then hit another to regain the lead for the Macs with 10 minutes to go.
Jordan Armstong got an and-one to go with 7:33 left to give the Macs a 73-69 lead.
Oren Betesh added to the three point barrage with one of his own to extend the Macs’ lead to 78-71 with just over 5 minutes left in the game.
Halpert canned his seventh three of the game to put the Macs up 11 with 1:41 left and essentially ice the game.
Three Point Shooting:
After struggling mightily to knock down threes in their last home game, a loss to St Joseph’s Long Island, the Macs were lights out tonight, making half of their attempts from deep. The Macs moved the ball really well all game, producing a ton of open looks, especially for sharpshooter Eitan Halpert who knocked down seven threes in the game.
The Macs stood tall in the paint tonight, making it tough for Saint Joseph to score easy points near the basket. The Bluejays had some success in the first half, but Jordan Armstrong threw a block party in the second half, as he rejected seven shots and sent the fans into a frenzy. His effort down low forced Saint Joseph to have to shoot from outside, where they were only able to hit two threes all night.
The Macs did a great job on the boards tonight, grabbing 36 rebounds and preventing the Bluejays from scoring too many second chance points. Yeshiva’s ability to control the ball after a miss was key tonight, and it gave them many opportunities to capitalize on the fast break.
For University of Saint Joseph (22-1, 17-0):
Jaecee Martin was exceptional for the Bluejays, putting up 20 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds in the losing effort.
Jordan Powell shot very efficiently scoring 14 points on 7/10 shooting.
Ryan O’Neill and Tyree Mitchell each scored 13 apiece.
For Yeshiva (21-3,14-2):
Eitan Halpert led the Macs with 23 points, with almost all of his damage coming from behind the arc.
Ryan Turell had another great game, scoring 22 points and grabbing six rebounds.
Gabe Leifer almost notched his second straight triple-double with 16 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
Jordan Armstrong came off the bench and came up with seven huge blocks in the second half.
The Macs host Saint Joseph’s-Brooklyn on Saturday night at home. Tip off is scheduled for 8:30 PM.
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