After an incredible 29-1 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Macs were determined to prove that what happened last year was no fluke. Both teams started out working off some offseason kinks, as neither team was able to gain a commanding lead. But once the second half started the Macs shifted into another gear resulting in a 22-point victory to begin the year.
How it happened
Eitan Halpert starts the season off with a 3-pointer to give the Macs a 3-0 lead, but the lead is soon erased as Sean Smith nails a three of his own to tie the game just 37 seconds in.
After the two teams traded baskets back and forth, Manhattanville is able to retake the 19-17 lead with 11:50 remaining on a 3-point play by Wesley Kra.
The Maccabees grab and then extend their lead to 8 following a free throw by Gabe Leifer, but Manhattanville answers with the next 5 points to cut the lead to 35-32 with 4:04 remaining in the first half.
Yeshiva closes a tight first half out with a 49-41 lead after a Ryan Turell 3-pointer is good right before the buzzer sounds.
Yeshiva increases their lead to double digits for the first time of the night on a jumper by Eitan Halpert, but not long do they keep that 10-point lead, as Petey Galgano hits a 3 to cut the lead to 51-44 just 38 seconds into the 2nd half.
Matan Zucker scores a layup to start a 7-0 run by the Maccabees capped off by an Eitan Halpert layup, to give the Macs a 71-55 lead with 10:04 remaining in the game.
A jumper by Ofek Reef gives the Maccabees a 96-73 lead, their biggest of the night, with just 2:03 remaining.
At first, it seemed that the Macs needed some time to adjust from losing some of their key seniors from last season, but when veteran Ryan Turell (21 points in the first half) and sophomore Ofek Reef (10 points in the first half) began to find their rhythm, the offensive started to flow majestically. They started to spread the ball around and connected on 61.3% (19-for-31) of shots in the first half. In the second half they took complete control of the game, going on multiple scoring runs and having most of their points come in the paint due to turnovers or off assists.
Limiting Sean Smith
Coming into tonight’s matchup, Yeshiva understood they were going to have to contain 6”3 Forward Sean Smith. Smith averaged 21 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game in his sophomore season, before sitting out last year due to injury.
The Macs did a good job containing Smith, limiting him to 8-17 shooting while pressuring him into 3 turnovers.
The biggest thing separating these two teams tonight was that the Macs offense connected on 17 assists as opposed to just 7 for Manhattanville. The Macs were patient offensively and were able to pressure Manhattanville into fouling. Yeshiva made the most of their free throws knocking down 13-16 from the line.
Manhattanville was just over-dominated in the paint as Yeshiva’s motion offense worked to perfection, resulting in 44 points scored down low. They drove hard and even made the most off misses, getting 14 second-chance points.
For Manhattanville (0-1)
Smith (22 points, 9 rebounds), Dunn (19 points, 3 rebounds), Brown (7 points, 4 rebounds)
Manhattanville shot 46.8% (29-for-62) from the floor, shooting 50% (12-for-24) on 3-pointers, but just 40% (6-for-15) from the free throw line in the loss.
Manhattanville knocked down 46.2% (6-for-13) of their 3-pointers in the second half, while converting on just 5 points off turnovers and making only 41.7% (5-for-12) of their free throws.
For Yeshiva (1-0)
Turell (game-best 31 points, and game-best 10 rebounds), Halpert (21 points), Reef (16 points, 4 rebounds), Leifer (13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists)
The Maccabees shot 58.5% (38-for-65) from the floor, shooting 45% (9-for-20) on 3-pointers, and 81.3% (13-for-16) from the free throw line in the win.
The Maccabees never trailed in the second half, out-rebounded Manhattanville 38-27, forced a total of 6 turnovers, and scored 44 points in the paint.
The Macs (1-0) look to make it 2/2 against Manhattanville (0-1) in a rematch tomorrow at 2:00 PM.