The Macs were completely dominated tonight by the NYU Violets in a 108-67 blowout loss. The game started with a three-pointer made by Hayden Peek for NYU. Zevi Samet matched that with his own triple on the next possession. The two teams then traded baskets over the next few minutes of the game. Gav Landau connected on a three to cut the Macs’ deficit to 18-14. This would be the closest the Macs would get for the rest of the game, as the Violets went on a 29-4 run, giving them a 47-18 lead heading into the halftime break.
The Macs began the second half with a platoon system, where they played five-man rotations for two minutes at a time and then rotated a new five in. They used this system to play an up-tempo style which included a full-court press. The Violets were not fazed by this adjustment and continued their scoring rampage. The Violets finished with 19 made three-pointers with just 35 attempts. The Violets extended the lead to 49 at one point in the second half, but the Macs chipped away down the stretch to make the score somewhat respectable.
Defending the three-pointer:
Both these teams are amongst the best shooting teams in Division III, which meant that the team that could defend better from there would have a great chance at winning. The Violets contained the Macs on the perimeter and did not allow very many clean looks from beyond the arc, shooting 6-22 from beyond the three. Oren Betesh and Zevi Samet did not have their best nights, combining for just 2/8 from long range. The Macs also had trouble all night defending the three. The Violets finished with 19 three-pointers on 54% shooting. They were able to get these threes in transition and in the half-court offense.
One of the big questions coming into the season was how quickly the new guys would develop and learn how to play at the college level. Until this game, they appeared to have hit the ground running, but tonight their inexperience showed. When the Violets went on their big run to end the first half, the Macs were incapable of getting a stop or bucket to end the run and seemed to have lost their composure. The team made many sloppy mistakes on both sides of the ball. For the Violets, it was clear they were the more experienced team, with many players with at least one or two years of college experience and some players who even had experience as part of a Division I program.
Zay Freeny led the way with 29 points on 6/10 shooting from beyond the arc.
Cinque Stephens had a big game off the bench, with 17 points.
Spencer Freedman took just five shots in the game but finished with eight assists.
Zevi Samet and Matan Zucker led the Macs with 11 points each. They shot a combined 8-26 from the field in the loss.
Michael Natkin and Gav Landau had good games off the bench with seven and six points, respectively.
The Macs will look to bounce back from this loss on Saturday night when they will host the Mount Saint Mary’s Knights. Tip-off will be at 8:30 pm at the Max Stern Athletic Center.