May 30, 2024
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YU Basketball Team Rallies for Key Skyline Win Over St. Joseph’s Long Island

The Yeshiva University men’s basketball team overcame an eight point second half deficit to earn a thrilling Skyline Conference victory over St. Joseph’s College Long Island, 82-77, at the Max Stern Athletic Center on Sunday afternoon. Yeshiva now has a three game winning streak and advance to 2-0 in Skyline games, while St. Joseph’s L.I. falls to 1-1 in conference play.

Yeshiva (4-3, 2-0 Skyline) was led once again by a balanced attack, as four of the five starters reached double-figures in scoring. Senior forward Dean Pienica led the team with 20 points, five assists, three steals, two rebounds and one block. Sophomore guard Judah Cohen added 19 points with four assists and just as many rebounds. Senior forward Michael Berg and freshman guard Simcha Halpert each netted 14 points, with the former dishing out five assists, and the latter grabbing five boards and forcing two steals.

“Great win for us,” Yeshiva Head Coach Elliot Steinmetz said. “Our players were resilient and teamwork allowed us to overcome a terrific shooting team and get a big conference win.”

The Maccabees got off to a quick start as a three point field goal by Halpert helped Yeshiva jump out to a 9-2 lead, less than three minutes into the contest. Later in the half, Berg produced a successful jump shot to extend Yeshiva’s lead to 16-6, with 15:14 remaining in the period. On the next offensive possession, Cohen found Halpert, who converted a layup on a fast break, to give Yeshiva its largest lead of the game, 18-6, with 14:52 left.

After Pienica’s layup made it 20-8 Yeshiva, the Golden Eagles (1-5, 1-1 Skyline) shifted momentum into their favor by going on a 19-5 run in a span of 5:03, to take a 27-25 advantage. After Yeshiva tied the game at 27, St. Joseph’s L.I. scored 11 of the game’s next 13 points to take a commanding 38-29 lead with 3:45 left in the first half. The teams went into the intermission with the visiting team up, 41-33.

Yeshiva came flying out of the gate in the second half, as Halpert and Cohen combined for back-to-back three pointers to pull the home team to within two. The Golden Eagles answered with six straight points of their own to go back up by eight.

Later in the period, a three point field goal by senior guard Jordan Hod capped off a 5-0 run for the Blue and White, narrowing the Golden Eagles’ lead to 52-50. After St. Joseph’s L.I. built the lead to 65-60, back-to-back three point field goals by Cohen propelled the home team to a 66-65 advantage with 5:34 remaining in regulation time. On the next offensive possession, Pienica converted a layup to cap off an 8-0 run and extend Yeshiva’s lead to three. With 2:25 left, Pienica once again successfully executed a key layup to extend the Maccabees’ lead to 76-71.

After a series of free throws from both teams, the Golden Eagles produced a two point field goal to pull within three, with eight seconds left. A turnover by Yeshiva gave the ball right back to St. Joseph’s L.I. with a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds. After a missed three point attempt, Berg grabbed the defensive rebound and drew the foul. He went to the line and drilled two free throws to clinch the win for Yeshiva.

For the game, Hod scored five points and dished out three assists, while sophomore forward Tal Gweta added six points. Freshman forward Bar Alluf and sophomore forward Michael Hayon each scored two points, while freshman forward Daniel Katz produced one assist and grabbed one rebound.

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