July 17, 2024
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YU Women’s Basketball Wins Skyline Overtime Thriller

(yumacs.com) The Yeshiva University women’s basketball team once again came out victorious in a thrilling Skyline game, this time coming from behind to defeat SUNY Old Westbury in overtime by a score of 75-72, at Draddy Gym on Tuesday evening. The Maccabees have now won three conference games and four contests overall this year.

Junior Daniella Rothman had a big night by scoring a game-best 30 points and bringing down 15 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. Sophomore Shai Rahamim had 25 points and six assists. Junior Yuval Nitzan just missed a triple-double with 13 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, while forcing four steals on the defensive end.

The Maccabees trailed, 66-63, with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation time. Rahamim took a feed from Rothman and buried a 3-point field goal to tie the game with 22 ticks left on the clock. Rahamim also drained a key shot from deep in overtime that put Yeshiva ahead for good on its way to the conference victory.

“We come to every game with the intention of winning,” Rahamim said. “It wouldn’t happen without teamwork. The scoreboard doesn’t represent how much we support each other.”

The Maccabees struggled in the first half, falling behind by a score of 34-24 after 20 minutes of play. The sluggish play temporarily carried over into the third quarter as a 3-point field goal, courtesy of sophomore Samirah Akinwunmi, gave the Panthers its largest lead of the game, at 39-28, less than two minutes into the second half.

At that point, Yeshiva turned the tide as a successful jump shot by junior Renee Benjamini propelled the Blue and White to a 12-0 run, capped off by back-to-back jump shots from Nitzan, to put Yeshiva in front by a score of 40-39 with 4:39 left in the quarter.

Old Westbury was able to regain the lead and then build it in the late stages of the stanza as junior Ja’nya Flash connected on a jumper to make the score 50-46 in favor of the visiting team with 1:19 to go. Rahamim countered with a shot from deep to pull YU to within one, at 50-49, with 1:08 remaining in the third. That would be the score entering the final period of regulation time.

With Yeshiva down, 53-51, less than four minutes into the fourth, Rahamim drained another shot from beyond the arc to catapult the Maccabees into the lead. Rothman continued YU’s momentum as she forced a steal, received the ball back from Nitzan, and then converted a layup off the fastbreak, while being fouled, to extend the Maccabees’ advantage to 56-53 with 6:10 remaining in regulation time. She then added the free throw to complete the traditional three-point play and increase the Macs’ advantage to four.

Later in the quarter, Old Westbury switched the momentum into its favor by scoring seven straight points, capped off by a layup from Akinwunmi, to put the Panthers in front by a score of 62-59 with just 1:33 left to play in the fourth period. After both teams exchanged two baskets each, Yeshiva had the ball down 66-63 with 26 seconds remaining. Rothman delivered the pass to Rahamim who rifled the ball into the basket from deep to tie the game at 66 points apiece with 22 seconds left to play in regulation time.

“I made my shot because I knew my teammates had my back,” Rahamim said.

After Old Westbury called a timeout, the Maccabees’ defense prevented the Panthers from scoring the game-winning basket and as a result, overtime was needed.

Flash opened the extra period by converting a layup, while being fouled, and then adding a shot from the charity stripe to put Old Westbury up by three just 16 seconds in. Yeshiva chipped away over the next couple of possessions to narrow the deficit to one. After Yeshiva held the opposition scoreless on the next possession, Yeshiva had the ball down by one with just 2:48 left. Nitzan found Rahamim who drained another clutch bucket from beyond the arc to put YU in the lead, 71-69, with 2:22 to go in the overtime period.

The Macs’ defense once again shut down the Panthers on the next possession and then Rothman converted a fastbreak layup to give Yeshiva more breathing room, at 73-69, with 1:46 remaining. This time, it was the Panthers’ turn to chip away as they cut the Macs’ lead to one with 28 seconds to go. Old Westbury even got the ball back with 24 seconds to go and a chance to win it. However, Nitzan forced a steal and was intentionally fouled with just five seconds to go. Just like last game at Farmingdale State College, she buried two key free throws to extend the Maccabees’ lead, this time by a score of 75-72. Old Westbury’s final shot rimmed off and senior Miriam Kazlow grabbed the rebound as the buzzer sounded, securing Yeshiva’s third Skyline win of the season.

“This win proved to us and other teams that we are a winning team,” Rahamim said. “It would mean the world to us to have support from the student body at our games!”

For the Maccabees, Kazlow secured nine rebounds. Benjamini scored four points with two rebounds and just as many assists. Junior Gabrielle Kupferman had five boards, four assists and two points.

“Looking forward to an incredible rest of the season!” Rahamim said.

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