Macs Hold off Washington College, Get Gritty Win
The Macs earned a hard-fought win against Washington College Thursday night, beating the Shoremen 85-76. The nine point margin of victory was the Macs’ smallest of the season. The Shoremen were excellent, taking a lead late in the first half. Gabe Leifer carried the team with his second straight triple-double, giving him seven in his YU career.
How it Happened:
A Ryan Turell three put the Macs up 5-0 early.
Sam Corrao put the Shoremen on the board, hitting a 3 to make it 5-3.
Eitan Halpert hit a three to cap an 11-2 Macs run which gave them a 22-12 lead at the 11:44 mark.
Washington answered with an 8-0 run of their own, capitalizing on Yeshiva turnovers to quickly bring the score to 22-20 with 10:34 remaining in the half.
The Shoremen took their first lead of the game with 4:14 to go in the half, moving ahead 31-29.
The teams traded baskets for the rest of the half, but Turell and Halpert combined for three treys in the last 2:37 of the half, and the Macs took a 42-38 lead into the locker room.
Turell hit a three-pointer to put the Macs up 53-43 two and a half minutes into the second half.
The Shoremen responded to a Macs run with a 6-0 run of their own capped off by an Ethan Sommer steal and a transition layup by Jason Zielinski with 12:59 remaining.
Ofek Reef had a beautiful layup, followed by a transition dunk by Turell to put the Macs ahead 71-58 with 8:55 to play.
Turell capped his night off with a three-pointer with 2:36 to go, pushing the Macs lead to 85-66.
The Shoremen fought until the final buzzer, scoring the last ten points of the game. The Macs' lead was too big to overcome, however, and YU got the win 85-76.
Beating the 2-3 Zone:
The Shoremen came out defending in a 2-3 zone, which gave the Macs some trouble to start the game. The Macs were able to score against the zone when they got the ball into the high post. Gabe Leifer was particularly effective in the high post, connecting with his teammates for open threes and on backdoor cuts which led to a number of open looks. Many of Leifer’s game-high 16 assists came in the high post.
Both teams dealt with foul trouble in this game. For the Shoremen, shot-blocker Precieux Tshibangu picked up two early fouls which kept him out for much of the first half. While the Macs did a good job defending without fouling to start the game, going over 13 minutes before committing their first foul, they did run into trouble in the second half. Eitan Halpert and Jordan Armstrong had three and four fouls respectively, and the Shoremen took advantage of their opportunities at the line, going 10-13 from the charity stripe.
The Macs shot 11-22 from three, with ten of those threes coming from Turell (5-8) and Halpert (5-10). While they allowed Washington to go on some runs throughout the game, the Macs’ lights-out shooting allowed them to continue to maintain a lead throughout the second half. This was Halpert’s sixth game this season in which he shot 50% or better from three, as he is now 39-74 on the season.
For Washington College (2-7, 0-3 Centennial):
Tray Wright led the team with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Sam Corrao shot 3-6 from three on his way to 15 points.
14 different players got in the game, and a balanced scoring attack included Jason Zielinski (11 points), Kedrick Frink (10 points), and Ethan Sommer (seven points, 2-2 from three).
For Yeshiva (12-0, 7-0 Skyline):
Turell had a game-high 25 points.
Ofek Reef had an efficient 20 points, going 8-9 from the field.
Gabe Leifer had his second consecutive triple-double, with ten points, 13 rebounds, and 16 assists. He was the only player for either team with double digits in rebounds and assists.
The Macs are back in action at the MSAC on Saturday night, when they will take on Medgar Evers College at 8:30pm. Those who can’t make it live can follow the action here.
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