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Panthers Trap Macs as Yeshiva Takes Second Skyline Loss

The Macs failed to capitalize off of their redemption victory vs. Manhattanville on Tuesday, falling 80-73 to the Purchase College Panthers in what was expected to be a “trap” game for Yeshiva. With the loss, YU loses control of its own destiny for the one seed in the Skyline Conference.

The Macs fell into the Panthers "trap" as they were defeated by a score of 80-73. (Photo Credit: Akiva Poppers/MacsLive)

How it Happened:

  • The Panthers came out flying, drilling three-pointers on each of their first three possessions to go up 9-2 just 90 seconds into the contest.

  • The Macs immediately responded with an 8-2 run to make it a one-point game, highlighted by a pair of Zevi Samet threes.

  • The next 10 minutes featured some of the worst basketball the Macs have played all season, as YU went just 2-of-14 from yet floor and turned the ball over six times. The Panthers went on an extended run 23-5 run, bringing the score to 34-15 with five minutes left in the first half.

  • The Macs woke up after that, and with 4:18 remaining in the first half, Gav Landau hit a layup off a feed from Yoav Oselka to ignite a 14-2 Yeshiva run to close out the half. They went into the locker room down 36-29.

  • The second half was back-and-forth as the Macs looked to erase the deficit, and YU would eventually get enough stops in a row to go on an 11-2 run. Consecutive threes by Samet and Dothan Bardichev provided Yeshiva with their first lead of the game, 50-49, with 11 minutes on the clock.

  • Unfortunately, the Macs’ lead didn’t last long, as Raquon Youmans buried a three of his own just 15 seconds later to ignite a 12-0 Panthers run. Roy Itcovichi broke the scoring drought with his signature midrange jumper with 7:51 left to go. 

  • The next five minutes saw much back-and-forth, and an Oliver Culliton three put the Panthers up by nine points with 2:20 remaining. 

  • A late surge highlighted by back-to-back Samet threes, including an incredibly high-degree-of-difficulty rising trey above two defenders from the right corner, drew the Macs to within three points of the Panthers with 50.9 seconds to go.

  • On the Panthers’ next possession, Chad Duke converted a driving layup while being fouled by Samet to make it a five-point game, but missed the subsequent and-one opportunity. The Panthers subsequently sent Samet to the free-throw line, where he converted both tries, making it a one-score game again with 25 seconds left.

  • With 18 seconds left, Bardichev got called for a foul and was subsequently T-d up, giving the Panthers four opportunities at the line and icing an 80-73 Purchase victory.

Consistency Struggles:

One of the key issues that has plagued the Macs all season is their inability to remain consistent for all 40 minutes of games. That was noticeably evident at the Purchase College Gymnasium as the Macs fell into a 19-point hole just 15 minutes into the contest. During that stretch, the Macs’ lack of competitiveness on the glass and defense as well as working together on offense were very noticeable, as YU allowed nine offensive rebounds and shot just 6-of-22 from the field. While the Macs ended up erasing the deficit and briefly taking the lead, effort was again lacking on the subsequent 12-0 Purchase run. The Macs’ struggles with consistency are even more apparent with the absence of Max Zakheim, and they really need to work on this of they want to make a run in the upcoming Skyline Tournament.

Paint Battles: 

The Macs also struggled in the paint tonight, getting outscored 38-22 and only shooting 10-20 in the paint. They also allowed 15 offensive rebounds and 17 second-chance points, including three each by Rashid Nikiema, Isaac Johnson, and Matthew Phillips. The Macs also ran into some serious foul trouble late, with Dothan Bardichev fouling out and Adi Markovich and Effy Freundlich finishing with four fouls apiece.

For Purchase (11-10 Overall, 5-7 Skyline):

  • Chad Duke led the Panthers with 19 points.

  • Rashid Nikiema finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds. He was the only player from either team with double-digit boards.

  • The Panthers outrebounded the Macs 42-29 tonight.

For Yeshiva (13-8 Overall, 10-2 Skyline):

  • Zevi Samet finished the game with 34 points, the most on either team by a wide margin.

  • Dothan Bardichev finished with 10 points, nine rebounds, and four assists. He has finished with seven or more rebounds in each of the last four games.

  • Jacob Rodin played a season-high 21 minutes tonight. While he didn’t take a shot all game, it was clear that Coach Elliot Steinmetz entrusted him to lock the Panthers up defensively.

  • The Macs shot 27-61 (44.3%) from the field and 12-32 (37.5%) from beyond the arc.

Up Next:

The Macs return home for Alumni Night and their biggest game of the regular season, as they take on the Farmingdale State Rams on Saturday night in a rivalry game which could also have seeding implications in the Skyline Conference Tournament. Pregame festivities start at 7:30 PM, and tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 PM.  

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