The Yeshiva University men’s basketball team had its historic season come to an end on Thursday evening, as the #4 Maccabees fell to the #1 Panthers of SUNY Old Westbury, 82-60, in the semifinal of the Skyline Conference Championships at the Clark Athletic Center. Old Westbury will host #6 St. Joseph’s College of Brooklyn in the Skyline Championship game on Saturday evening.
Leading the way for the Maccabees (15-12) was senior forward Shelby Rosenberg and classmate Shaje Weiss, scoring 13 points apiece, with the former grabbing seven rebounds and the latter grabbing six boards. Freshman guard Judah Cohen produced 12 points, on four three-point field goals, while junior forward Michael Berg and freshman guard Jamie Cappell scored eight points each.
The Maccabees came storming out of the gate early, as a jump-shot by Berg gave Yeshiva a 4-0 advantage. After the Panthers scored five unanswered points, Rosenberg nailed a jumper to help the Maccabees regain a one-point advantage.
The Panthers (18-8) would shift momentum into their favor and jump out to a 25-17 lead with 6:22 left in the opening half. Berg put a halt to Old Westbury’s surge by scoring a two-point field goal, which sparked a 6-2 run that pulled the Maccabees to within four, at 27-23. Weiss converted a layup to shrink the Panthers’ advantage to 29-25, with 3:05 left in the first stanza. Old Westbury responded by scoring six unanswered points to extend its lead to 35-25 going into halftime.
The Panthers’ momentum would carry into the second half, scoring 16 of the period’s first 18 points to take a commanding 51-27 with under 15 minutes remaining. Yeshiva would not go down without a fight, as back-to-back three-point field goals by Cohen and Cappell highlighted a 12-2 run to catapult Yeshiva back in the game. Cohen drained another shot from downtown to decrease Yeshiva’s deficit to 58-42, with just less than 10 minutes left. However, Yeshiva’s rally would not be enough as Old Westbury secured the win and a berth in the championship game.
It was still a very successful season for Yeshiva. The Maccabees tied a program record with 12 Skyline wins and won their first home playoff game since 2002. Another highlight in the season was Rosenberg scoring his 1,000th career point in the last regular season game of his collegiate career.