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Macs Start 2024 on High Note Behind Another Zakheim Outburst

The Yeshiva Maccabees, fresh off of their weeklong trip to Israel, defeated the Immaculata Mighty Macs by a score of 99-92 on Thursday for their first win of the calendar year in what was a hard-fought victory. Once again, Max Zakheim was a force to be reckoned with, putting up 33 points, while Dothan Bardichev set new career highs with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

How it Happened:

  • Roy Itcovichi won the opening tip for the Macs, and Dothan Bardichev quickly traded threes with Greg Vlassopoulos to start the night.

  • The Macs quickly went on a 14-2 run, highlighted by a behind-the-back dish from Adi Markovich to Zevi Samet, jumping out to a commanding 20-9 lead just under six minutes in.

  • There was a two-minute stretch where neither team scored, including a possession where the Macs were aggressive on the offensive glass, grabbing two boards. Effy Freundlich broke the ice with a layup to give the Macs a 25-12 lead with 10:24 left in the first.

  • Some back-and-forth ball late in the first half showcased the Macs’ aggressive defense, highlighted by Markovich taking a charge with 3:33 left.

  • A nice pass from Max Zakheim to Samet gave the Macs a 42-34 lead heading into the locker room. Zakheim led the Macs with 16 points in the first half, while Vlassopoulos led Immaculata with 13.

  • The second half started off with each team trading baskets, but the Macs started to pull away, with Samet and Itcovichi hitting shots to pad the Macs’ lead to 12.

  • The Macs struggled a little with guarding the perimeter, and Vlassopoulos drilled a pair of threes to cut the Mighty Macs’ deficit to six just over six minutes into the second half.

  • Immaculata’s success from downtown continued, with Robbie Logan nailing a corner three, shrinking YU’s lead down to a measly 66-63 with 10:30 left to play. The Macs quickly responded with an Itcovichi three and a Samet fastbreak layup to push their advantage back to eight.

  • The Macs then went without a basket for over three minutes, and with 5:13 left to play, Vlassopoulos converted a four-point play, and Immaculata trailed by just two.

  • Zevi subsequently drilled his only three of the night, and the Macs cruised through the rest of the game, hanging on to a 99-92 win to start off the calendar year on the right foot.

Yeshiva returned from the break on fire, with Max Zakheim notching 33 points in a 99-92 victory. (Photo Credit: Akiva Poppers/MacsLive)

Fire the Red Rocket:

Max “Red Rocket” Zakheim had another incredible night, leading both teams with 33 points and picking up 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals. He once again showed his ferocity when driving to the basket as well as on the defensive side of the ball. He also drilled three shots from downtown. In his last three games, Zakheim is averaging 33 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists, and is shooting an otherworldly 81% from the floor, 73% from 3, and 86% from the line. Max continues to make his case as the Macs’ best all-around player this season and showcase why he is so fun to watch.

Tenacious Rebounding:

As poorly as the Macs played defensively, they showed a much-improved effort on the boards—even with Or Sundjyvsky still recovering from a shoulder injury—as they out-rebounded Immaculata on both the offensive and defensive glass. Bardichev and Zakheim led the way with 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively.

Efficient Offense:

On the offensive side of the ball, the Macs were very efficient tonight, shooting 53.8% from the field (35-65), including 60% (18-30) in the the second half. They exploited Immaculata’s defense by executing their basket cuts and driving through the lane, picking up 52 points in the paint. The Macs recorded 17 assists on the night, with Bardichev and Zakheim each picking up five, and Markovich notching four. The Macs had good shot selection throughout, and very few of their attempts looked forced.

For Immaculata (8-9 Overall, 1-3 Atlantic East):

  • Dinero Washington and Greg Vlassopoulos led the Mighty Macs in scoring with 25 and 24 points, respectively.

  • Immaculata shot the ball well, going 48.4% (30-62) from the field and 42.9% (9-21) from beyond the arc.

  • The Mighty Macs took 29 shots from the free-throw line tonight, hitting 23 of them. Dinero Washington went 11-14 from the line.

For Yeshiva (10-6 Overall, 7-1 Skyline):

  • Max Zakheim hit double-digits in rebounds for the first time in his Macs career, grabbing 10 boards, including three offensive.

  • Dothan Bardichev scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, setting career highs in both. He also added 5 assists, a block, and a steal.

  • Adi Markovich tied his career high in points with 11 and played a career-high 34 minutes.

  • While Zevi Samet struggled from deep, going 1-6 from 3, he still managed to score 24 points, shooting 9-20 from the field.

  • The Macs took the lead on a Samet jumper 2:09 into the game and never surrendered it afterwards.

Up Next:

The Macs return to the Max Stern Athletic Center for their final non-conference game of the season, taking on the Wesleyan (CT) Cardinals on Monday, January 22 at 8:00 PM. After that, they will host the Purchase Panthers (9-7 overall, 3-4 Skyline) on Wednesday at 8:00 PM for their first of two regular season matchups this year.


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