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Yeshiva Suffers Deja Vu in Late Loss to Mount Saint Vincent

Well, talk about déjà vu, but this time, it hit the Macs right on their home court. And boy, did it sting, especially considering the playoff implications.

Facing off against a team they might meet again in the postseason in just a few days, the Yeshiva University Men’s Basketball team watched for the fourth straight game a win elude their grasp down the stretch. Those pesky Mount Saint Vincent Dolphins rallied for an 82-74 victory, leaving the Max Stern Athletic Center crowd stunned on Senior Night on Wednesday.

As if that wasn't enough, Sarah Lawrence (13-11, 10-5 Skyline), who rallied past the Macs last week, defeated Purchase (13-11, 7-8 Skyline), tying Yeshiva for first place in the Gold Divison. Now, the Macs are in a position where they have to beat Maritime and cross their fingers for a Manhattanville win against the Gryphons to claim the second seed and earn another shot at Mount Saint Vincent in the Conference quarterfinals.

Sure, there are valid reasons to brush off the current situation. The Macs are dealing with injuries left and right, and some players are even battling through illnesses. Roy Itcovichi did the heavy lifting, scoring a career-high 27 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Meanwhile, Dothan Bardichev was all over the court, notching 16 points, a career-high 16 rebounds, and dishing out eight assists. Zevi Samet, although not the offensive force as usual, still had 13 points and excelled on the defensive end with six steals.

Yeshiva haven't made excuses through this four game losing streak, continuing to give it their all. However, these are still games they should be winning. It's frustrating to see them slip away like this.

It's disappointing that they've reached a point where they no longer control their destiny for the division title and preferred seed for the conference tournament. However, there’s still an opportunity before them to right the wrongs entering the playoffs. The first step towards that is learning from what happened in this one.

The Macs suffered their fourth straight loss, an 82-74 defeat to Mount Saint Vincent on Senior night at the Max Stern Athletic Center on Wednesday. (Photo Credit: Akiva Poppers/MacsLive)

How It Happened:

- The game started rough for Yeshiva, falling behind early with a score of 12-4 in just the first three minutes.

- Yet the Macs weren't about to let their opponents have it easy. They quickly rallied back with a 10-0 run, taking the lead at 14-12, with Bardichev, Samet and Itovichi leading the way.

- The next six minutes were a back-and-forth battle, with both teams trading baskets, keeping the scoreboard tight at 20-20 with 10:31 remaining in the first half.

- Despite Yeshiva's efforts, Mount Saint Vincent pulled ahead and went on a 17-7 run, leaving the Macs trailing 37-29 at halftime, much to the home crowd's dismay.

- Coming out strong in the second half, the Maccabees turned the tide with a dominant 22-2 run in the first seven minutes. There was vigor and intensity in their game. Roy Itovichi and Dothan Bardichev spearhead the charge on both ends, grabbing rebounds, draining threes, and finishing in the paint, giving the Macs a 51-39 lead.

- The Dolphins didn't go down without a fight, as they pushed the pace and forced turnovers, burning Yeshiva in transition. Yet Itovichi kept pace at the other end, allowing the Macs to maintain their lead.

- However, things took a turn with 5:35 left when Mount Saint Vincent began their game-breaking 16-0 run. They played with the type of energy that Yeshiva showed in their earlier blitz. Joshua Cabezudo took the game over with the last 12 points of the run, including nailing two threes, before turning to the crowd, aware of the hex he placed on their heroes.

- Unfortunately, the Macs couldn't recover from the Dolphin surge. As time wound down, Jalen Lewis punctuated the comeback with an emphatic dunk, sealing an enthralling playoff-clinching 82-74 win.

Three-Pointer Struggles:

When it came to shooting from beyond the arc, the Macs couldn't find their rhythm, hitting only 2 out of 19 attempts. Downtown is usually Yeshiva’s bread and butter, but it wasn’t in this one.

Free Throw Disadvantage:

Another area where the Macs fell short was at the free-throw line. They managed to sink 12 out of 17 attempts, which isn't bad, but Mount Saint Vincent was more efficient, making 15 out of 18 shots. Those extra points from the charity stripe made a difference later on.

For Mount Saint Vincent (10-15, 8-7 Skyline):

-Kevin Agyemang led the way with 24 points.

-Joshua Cavezudo added 23 points.

- DJ Tucker had 15 points, and Alex Chi chipped in with 10 off the bench.

For Yeshiva (13-11, 10-5 Skyline):

-Four Macs were in double figures. Roy Itovichi had 27, Dothan Bardichev and Yoav Oselka had 16, and Zevi Samet 13. Bardichev also grabbed 16 rebounds, and Itovichi added a dozen, as the two combined for 28 of Yeshiva's 42 boards.

-The Macs outscored Mount Saint Vincent 44-34 in the paint.

-Yeshiva dominated the Dolphins in the extra effort category, outscoring them 23-4 on second-chance points.

Up Next:

The Maccabees are hitting the road for their last game of the regular season. They're heading to Maritime College on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 8:30 PM.


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