In typical fashion, The Macs started off slow before dominating the second half to beat the St. Joseph’s University Brooklyn Bears 75-55, thereby putting themselves in a position to secure the number one spot in the conference if they win on Saturday. The scoring started on a layup from Matan Zucker off a great pass from Oren Betesh. The Bears’ Anderson Beltre finished a putback layup to cut the Macs' lead to 14-9. Max Zakheim found a wide-open Adi Markovich at the basket for an easy layup to snap a brief scoreless drought and give the Macs a 19-13 lead with 10 minutes to go in the half. Both teams were careless with the basketball leading to many turnovers and missed opportunities. Jonathan Reno knocked down a mid-range jumper to give St. Joseph's a 25-24 lead, their first of the game, with five minutes left in the half. The Macs struggled to contain dynamic guards Evan Sirakis and Jonathan Reno, who combined for 20 points in the first half. Max Zakheim finished the left-handed layup to give the Macs a 34-31 lead. The Macs went into the halftime break with a 34-33 lead.
The second-half scoring began with a three from Roy Itcovichi. The Bears continued to keep themselves in the game during the beginning of the half. Sirakis connected on his fourth three-pointer of the game to cut the Macs' lead to 43-40 with 16 minutes in the game. The Macs responded with a 9-2 run capped off by Zevi Samet’s second three of the game. The Oren Betesh to Matan Zucker combination struck again for another Matan Zucker layup, giving the Macs a 58-45 lead with just over 10 minutes left to play. Markovich knocked down his first three of the game to give the Macs a 68-47 lead with under six minutes left and all but seal the win. The Macs ended up winning 75-55.
In the first half of this game, the Macs and Bears combined for 17 turnovers. As if this was not bad enough, both teams combined for just 15 assists. This was particularly concerning for the Macs, who pride themselves on their ball movement and shot-creating ability. The Macs' subpar shooting and the sloppy and careless turnovers allowed the Bears to hang in the game. The second half saw the Macs improve and take much better care of the ball, which allowed them to pull away and secure the win.
Free Throw Shooting:
Coming into this game, the Macs were shooting just 68.5% from the free-throw line. Tonight they went to the line 15 times and converted 12 of them for an 80% clip. These free throws were crucial for the Macs, especially in the first half, when they had a difficult time generating points in their half-court offense. As the Macs get ready for playoff basketball, they need to continue to shoot efficiently from the free-throw line, which will give even more depth to an offense that is capable of putting up big numbers against any defense.
For St. Joseph’s University Brooklyn (5-19, 2-13 Skyline):
Evan Sirakis led the Bears with 19 points on 6-15 shooting.
Anderson Beltre put together a solid performance; finishing with 12 points and six rebounds.
Joe Sheehan had an efficient night, with 11 points and nine rebounds on 5-8 shooting.
For Yeshiva (15-9, 12-3 Skyline):
Zevi Samet led the way for the Macs with 18 points on 6-13 shooting.
Oren Betesh had an efficient 14 points, taking just eight shots to get there.
Roy Itcovichi had 10 points on a perfect 4-4 shooting from the field.
The Macs travel to Farmingdale St this Saturday night for a battle for the number one seed. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 PM.