This contest was a roller coaster of a game with the Macs coming away with a 85-81 win. Whenever one team appeared to have the game in hand, the other team would gain momentum and take the lead. The Macs started off this game very strong. After the Valiants scored the first basket of the game to make it 2-0, Yeshiva took the lead and ran with it through the end of the first half. The Macs led 44-28 late in the half and it looked like they would be in cruise control for the remainder of the game, but Manhattanville had other plans. The Valiants ended the first half on a 9-0 run, cutting Yeshiva’s lead to seven.
The Valiants carried their momentum from the end of the first half into the second half. They stole the lead back from Yeshiva four minutes into the half, making the score 49-47. Manhattanville then extended their lead to six with just over six minutes left to play. It looked like the Valiants were going to come away with an amazing comeback victory. Just as Manhattanville had other plans in the first half, so did Yeshiva in the second. Matan Zucker converted an and-one with 4:03 to go to tie the game up at 73. Oren Betesh then hit a tough pull-up mid-range and a contested three on consecutive possessions, which put the Macs up by 3. Manhattanville didn’t improve their score after that, missing key free throws late in the second half. The score was 80-76 with 45 seconds remaining with the ball in Zevi Samet’s hands. The Valiants played incredible defense on Samet, but Samet hit a step-back dagger three-pointer with 40 seconds left on the clock and put Yeshiva up by seven. After this, the game was totally out of reach for the Valiants; the Macs won the game, 85-81.
The story of the season has been the Macs’ outside shooting. When they hit them, they win, but when they don’t, they lose. Tonight, they most certainly were hitting those threes. The Macs shot 13-24, 54.2% from behind the arc. They were lacing the nets all night. Samet contributed five, Betesh netted six, and Itcovichi nailed two. It was an all-around great shooting night for Yeshiva.
The Macs controlled the lead the entire game until 16 minutes to go in the second half. Yeshiva even led 44-28 late in the first half. The Valiants stormed back and took a 68-62 lead with 6:15 to go in the second half. The Macs seemed to have given up at that point, as their body language looked poor and they had their heads down. They went into a huddle, lifted the spirit of the team, and then they fought back. Yeshiva never turned back and ended up winning this game by four points.
Jackson Leech led the Valiants in scoring and rebounding, dropping 26 points along with 10 boards. He was extremely impressive and was Manhattanville’s best player throughout the contest.
Tommy Lotito scored 22 points on an efficient 53% shooting. He was also a menace on defense, tallying four steals.
Macs superstar Zevi Samet had another fantastic outing. He scored 27 points on 9-16 shooting, including 5-8 from downtown. Additionally, Zevi hit the dagger with a dirty step-back triple to put the Macs up by seven with 40 seconds remaining.
Oren Betesh was absolutely outstanding in the second half, where he scored 13 out of his 16 points. Betesh hit clutch shot after clutch shot as he propelled Yeshiva to a thrilling come-from-behind win.
Matan Zucker was a problem for Manhattanville tonight. He tallied a monster double-double, producing 14 points along with 14 rebounds. Zucker also had some clutch buckets down the stretch of this one.
Yeshiva will travel to the south side of Manhattan to take on the New York University Violet on December 1 at 7 PM. Stay tuned to MacsLive on social media for details regarding that game.