In a hard-fought contest on Tuesday night, the Yeshiva Maccabees outlasted the Purchase Panthers 82-72. The Panthers took an early lead and looked to be in command of the game midway through the first half, but the Macs stormed back and took the lead just before halftime. Purchase pulled ahead in the second half, but the Macs rallied again and didn’t look back as they achieved their first conference road win of the season.
After winning the opening tip, Purchase wasted no time and took the lead on a Mark Morgan layup two seconds into the game. The teams went back and forth throughout the first 20 minutes, with Purchase holding their biggest lead of the night (30-22) with about five minutes left in the half. Yeshiva was not discouraged; Oren Betesh knocked down the fifth of his first-half three-pointers to give the Macs a 36-34 lead. The Macs weren’t close to done, as Betesh then found Dothan Bardichev open at the wing for a buzzer-beating three to close out the half on an 18-6 run with a 40-36 lead. Purchase kept fighting during the game's latter half, retaking the lead and extending it to five on a Rashid Nikiema three with 9:12 to go. The Macs pulled ahead thanks to two Matan Zucker free throws with 7:02 left, and finished the game on a 22-11 run, winning by 10.
The Macs shot an incredible 48% from deep with help from Betesh, who knocked down eight of his 12 attempts from beyond the arc. Betesh was hitting from all over the floor, and the Macs did a great job creating space for him to get open looks from the outside. Purchase shot a respectable 35% from three-point land, but it was the Macs who were able to hit the three-ball when it mattered the most.
It was a very physical game from the jump, as the two teams combined for 40 personal fouls and 47 free throw attempts. Bodies were flying all over the place as the teams fought for every loose ball and stepped in to take several charges. Neither team shot particularly well from the free throw line, but the Macs were able to ice away the game by knocking down some high-pressure free throws late in the second half.
For Purchase (2-3, 0-1):
Mark Morgan paced the Panthers, scoring 22 on 50% shooting from the field, as well as 50% from three-point range.
Matthew Phillips posted a double-double, putting up 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Isaac Johnson scored 12 points in 25 minutes off the bench for the Panthers.
For Yeshiva (3-3, 2-1):
Oren Betesh dropped a career-high 33 points, knocking down eight threes in the process, in addition to his six rebounds and three assists.
Matan Zucker had another great game, posting a 13-8-5 line and knocking down some big free throws late in the game.
Freshmen Roy Itcovichi and Dothan Bardichev combined for 23 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, both greatly contributing to the Macs’ winning effort.
The Macs host Amherst College on Sunday afternoon. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 PM.