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Macs Stay Undefeated in Skyline Play with Win Over Mariners

The Macs remained undefeated in Skyline Conference play with an 85-76 victory on Wednesday night over the US Merchant Marine Academy Mariners. Or Sundjyvsky snapped out of his shooting slump, scoring 25 points, and Zevi Samet continued his dominant run with another 24-point performance.

How it Happened:

  • On the Mariners first possession following their winning the opening tip, Adi Markovich blocked the Mariners’ Drew Zalescik’s layup attempt.

  • Both teams came out of the gate strong offensively. The Mariners and Macs started 6/7 and 5/6, respectively, and after five minutes, the game was tied 14-14.

  • Shortly after, YU hit a five-minute dry spell; the Mariners took a 21-14 lead.

  • After playing catchup for the better portion of the first half, the Macs went on a 14-3 run in the final five minutes of the half, with Zevi Samet hitting his first three of the night to tie the game up at 29 with 2:17 left. The Mariners failed to score for the remainder of the half.

  • The Macs took a 35-29 lead into halftime; Samet and Sundjyvsky led the way, with 11 points each. Demarcus Spivey and Isaac Vencel led the Mariners with 10 points each.

  • The Macs, as they often do, brought on the heat to start the second half, starting out 5/6 from the field, including 3/4 from deep, and jumping out to a 49-36 lead before the Mariners called timeout four and a half minutes in.

  • Shortly afterward, the Mariners took a 13-0 run, cutting the Macs’ lead to one with nine and a half minutes remaining as the Macs hit another five-minute dry spell.

  • Effy Freundlich ended that dry spell, coming off the bench and putting up five straight points, restoring the Macs’ lead to six points.

  • With about five minutes left in the game, the Macs had one of their best offensive possessions of the night, ending with a Samet three-pointer with one second left on the shot clock to put them up by nine.

  • Or Sundjyvsky converted a big and-one with 3:20 left to put the Macs up by seven and ice the game. The Mariners responded unsuccessfully, and the Macs closed out a big 85-76 win to keep them undefeated in Skyline play.

Or Sundjyvsky had an excellent night inside, shooting 7/9 from 2 and 5/5 from the line. (Photo Credit: Akiva Poppers/MacsLive)

A Sloppy Start for Both Teams:

In what was expected to be the Macs’ first real test in the Skyline Conference this season, both teams came out of the gate surprisingly sloppy. The two teams committed a combined 20 turnovers in the first half—13 for the Mariners and seven for Yeshiva— while shooting a combined 26 for 57 from the field (45.6%). Both teams took a lot of seemingly forced shots, and neither team looked like they completely had their heads in the game in the first half. Nevertheless, the Macs finished strong and took a six-point lead into the break.

Sundjyvsky’s Slump Ends:

Or Sundjyvsky’s scoring slump ended tonight, scoring a team-high 25 points. He made nine of his 18 shots tonight, including 7 of 9 from two, while converting all five of his free throws. Or stated on the MacsLive Postgame Show: “My teammates have believed in me since I got here. They told me to keep shooting, that you’ll have slumps, and I’m happy now that it’s over. We got a big conference win; that’s the most important thing.” He also led the team in rebounds and steals, with eight and five, respectively. He also tied Dothan Bardichev and Adi Markovich with four assists tonight.

Disciplined Defense:

The Macs did a great job of playing tight defense against the Mariners, forcing 24 turnovers while applying a lot of on-ball pressure. The Mariners still scored 44 points in the paint tonight, but the Macs looked more aggressive and willing to challenge the ball carrier. They did a great job of not allowing open threes, holding the Mariners to just 6-for-18 from deep tonight.

For Merchant Marine (3-3 Overall, 0-1 Skyline):

  • Drew Zalescik led the Mariners in scoring with 28 points, including 26 of the Mariners’ 47 points in the second half. He almost singlehandedly kept the game within reach for Merchant Marine down the stretch.

  • Isaac Vencel put up 16 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds, finishing with just two boards short of a triple-double.

  • It was the Mariners’ first time giving up at least 85 points in a game since December 19, 2022, and first time in a Skyline game since the 2021-22 season.

For Yeshiva (6-3 Overall, 4-0 Skyline):

  • Zevi Samet continued his dominant run and scored 24 points, including draining five threes.

  • Dothan Bardichev had another highly efficient game, hitting four of five shot attempts (all threes) for 12 points, as well as adding four assists tonight. He has easily been the Macs’ most improved player this year.

  • The Macs shot 31-60 from the field tonight (51.6%), including 13-34 (38.2%) from downtown.

  • The Macs recorded 14 steals on the night compared to the Mariners’ eight.

Up Next:

The Macs kick off a three-game road trip at 1:00 on Sunday afternoon as they take on the Amherst College Mammoths (3-2 Overall, 0-0 NESCAC) at the LeFrak Gymnasium in Amherst, MA.


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