June 22, 2024
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June 22, 2024
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Leifer’s Triple-Double Leads YU Men’s Basketball to Second Straight Victory

(yumacs.com) The Yeshiva University men’s basketball team earned its second head-to-head victory in less than 24 hours over Manhattanville College, this time by a score of 94-73, at the Max Stern Athletic Center on Sunday afternoon. Yeshiva (2-0) extends its winning streak to 31 games, dating back to last season.

The Maccabees had a narrow 76-70 edge with 5:24 left to play in regulation time, but once again went on a big run during the closing stretch to put the game out of reach for the Valiants (0-2). This time, it was an 18-3 rally in the final 4:57 of the contest that clinched the victory for the Blue and White.

For the second game in a row, five players reached double-figures in scoring for Yeshiva.

“Always tough to beat a quality opponent twice,” Yeshiva University Head Coach Elliot Steinmetz said. “Back to back is a definite challenge. Thought we were a little better defensively today and I like where we are two games in.”

Junior guard Ryan Turell had another big game, leading all players with 36 points (on 12-for-18 shooting) and 13 rebounds. The Los Angeles native also dished out three assists and went 6-for-9 from 3-point range.

Senior forward Gabriel Leifer recorded the fifth triple-double of his career (12 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists), while senior guard Eitan Halpert scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds, and distributed just as many assists.

Yeshiva fell behind early, 6-3, but rallied with seven straight points to jump out in front. Later in the opening half, a layup by sophomore guard Tommy Lotito pulled Manhattanville to within two, at 19-17. The Maccabees countered with a 19-4 run in a span of 6:13 to give the home team a commanding 38-21 hold with 5:02 left to play in the opening half. Turell highlighted the run by converting on two 3-point field goals and adding three straight shots from the charity stripe. In fact, Turell successfully drained his first five shot attempts from beyond the arc to start the game.

Freshman guard Oren Betesh, making his collegiate basketball debut, capped off Yeshiva’s 19-4 run with a 3-point field goal to give the home team its largest lead of the half, at 38-21, with 5:02 remaining in the opening period. Manhattanville finished the opening stanza with an 11-5 run to shrink YU’s advantage to 43-32 heading into the intermission.

The Valiants continued their momentum in the early stages of the second half. Lotito connected on a shot from downtown to cap off a 9-2 run for the visiting team and shrink YU’s lead to 54-51, with 13:27 remaining in regulation time. Yeshiva answered on the next possession, as Turell buried a jumper to begin an 11-2 run to extend the Blue and White’s hold to 65-53, with 9:58 left to play.

The Maccabees eventually built their lead to 17, but the Valiants were not done yet. Senior forward Sean Smith, Jr. propelled his team to a 15-4 run thanks to capitalizing on five shot attempts in that stretch. Junior forward Connor Yetman capped it off with a 3-point field goal to narrow the Macs’ advantage to 76-70, with 5:24 remaining in regulation time.

After Manhattanville earned a stop on the defensive end, Turell knocked the ball away from Smith, Jr. and converted a fast break layup to extend his team’s lead to eight. That began an 8-1 run for the Maccabees that concluded with a 3-point field goal courtesy of freshman guard Adi Markovich that increased their hold to 84-71 with 3:16 to go.

Yeshiva’s defense held Manhattanville to just two points in the last 4:47 of the contest as the defending Skyline Conference Champions pulled way for the 94-73 victory.

For the Maccabees, sophomore guard Ofek Reef tallied 11 points, three rebounds and just as many assists. Markovich also scored 11 points, while distributing a pair of dimes. Sophomore guard Matan Zucker and freshman forward Nadav Altit each added two points with the former providing three assists.

As a team, the Maccabees shot 49.2% from the field and 48.6% from 3-point range.

For the Valiants, Smith, Jr. had 23 points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Jake Dunn produced 20 points, distributed five assists, grabbed four boards and forced just as many steals. Yetman generated 12 points and brought down five caroms.

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