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Macs use second half burst to take down UMSV, advance to Skyline Tournament Semifinal

After a rocky ending to the Macs’ regular season where they dropped four of their final five games, the Macs faced off against UMSV in the first round of the Skyline Tournament. Despite the gap in seeding, the Dolphins fought hard and kept the game close until the final buzzer. The Macs proved to be too much for them to handle, finishing with a 84-76 victory for Yeshiva. 

The Macs welcomed the return of Or Sundjyvsky and Max Zakheim as they advanced to the Semi-Final game. (Photo Credit: Akiva Poppers/MacsLive)

How It Happened:

  • Despite coming in as the lower seed, UMSV refused to be underestimated. They jumped out to an early 9-3 lead over the Macs

  • Zevi Samet wouldn’t let the Dolphins pull away, knocking down two threes to keep things close

  • Unforced mistakes piled up on YU, as a number of turnovers turned into easy fastbreak points for UMSV 

  • The Macs were able to recover, executing tremendous offensive sets with great team passing to knot the game at 20

  • The teams traded baskets for the rest of the half, with the Dolphins Kevin Agyemang carrying the load, and went into the break at 32 apiece

  • After sitting out most of the first half due to foul trouble, Or Sundjyvsky nailed multiple triples to give the Macs a lead

  • The gap wouldn’t hold, as YU fell back into turnover trouble and allowed UMSV to pry back the lead

  • Zevi Samet almost immediately shifted all the momentum back to the Macs, hitting two massive threes and getting everyone in the home crowd on their feet

  • Samet and Sundjyvsky kept the foot on the gas, continuing to knock down shots from distance to provide YU with a comfortable 15 point advantage 

  • UMSV promptly shifted into a full court press, wreaking havoc on YU inbounds and slowly melting away the once-large deficit

  • Despite closing the gap down to just four points, the Macs closed out the game with clutch foul shooting and a pair of buckets from Roy Itcovichi, ending the game at 84-76

Play Smart, Play Well:

As has often been the case with the Macs this season, there seem to be spurts of both trouble and amazement in every game. This match proved to be no different, as YU found themselves falling into holes at certain points. UMSV took advantage of poor passing and forced shots, constantly getting the Macs to scramble. At other times, they flipped the switch and made crisp passes and waited patiently for the open shots and dominated their opponent in the process. Despite the overall lack of consistency, there were more good stretches than bad.

Let the Threes Fly:

With the game still close early in the second half, it was unclear exactly how YU would pull away. The answer eventually came off the hot hand of Zevi Samet. His two threes, the second from a few feet behind the line, awoke the crowd and the Macs up. Sundjyvsky later joined the party, matching Samet with three pointers of his own. Before long, it felt as though the two were in a 3 point contest rather than a game. The Macs got even stronger with this newfound momentum, with Max Zakheim’s big block and yet another three pointer from Dothan Bardichev would help pad a Macs lead that they wouldn’t give up again.

Back to Full Strength:

After an injury riddled season that saw both Or Sundjyvsky and Max Zakheim miss significant time, the Macs proved that they are a different team with everyone back on the court. Although Samet grabbed the headlines with his scoring, Sundjyvsky was crucial in swinging the momentum, leading the charge out of halftime and joining Samet in the massive run. Zakheim played a major role as well, playing great defense and breaking through the tough press UMSV applied in the final minutes. Even the crowd was at its best, packing the Max Stern Athletic Center and buzzing with excitement at every second half basket.

For Mount Saint Vincent :

  • UMSV got a great game from D.J. Tucker, scoring 20 points and making a sizeable  impact on defense with 4 blocks and a steal

  • As a team, UMSV had the edge on the run, outscoring the Macs 29-18 in fastbreak points due in part to advantages in steals and points off turnovers

  • UMSV was ultimately done in by their shooting, only converting on 2 of their 18 three point attempts

For Yeshiva:

  • On the flip side, the Macs excelled shooting from beyond the arc, finishing 11-25, and an incredible 9-14 in the second half

  • The key contributor to the Macs great night from three was Zevi Samet, pouring in a game leading 30 points, his sixth time topping that mark this season

  • The Macs also shared the ball nicely, outnumbering their opponent 24-15 in assists, and using that advantage to finish strong offensive possessions

Up Next:

The Macs will try to advance even further in the Skyline Tournament this Thursday Night, February 22nd, at the Max Stern Athletic Center. They will be facing off against the third seeded Manhattanville for the third time this year, after splitting the first two regular season matches.

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