Saturday, February 16, 2019

Tyler Hod looking for an open teammate. (Credit: yumacs.com

(Courtesy of yumacs.com) The Yeshiva University men’s basketball earned a key Skyline Conference victory over the College at Old Westbury, 88-66, at the Max Stern Athletic Center on Tuesday evening. The Maccabees extend their program-record winning streak to 14 games and remain on top of the Skyline standings by a game and a half.

The Maccabees’ (15-5, 13-2 Skyline) strong defensive play continued, holding the Panthers (13-9, 11-6 Skyline) to just 35 percent shooting from the field, and 25 percent from beyond the arc.

“Just defense, defense, defense,” Yeshiva University head coach Elliot Steinmetz said. “As long as we keep getting stops, we will keep being in position to win.”

Leading the way for the Maccabees was freshman phenom Ryan Turell, who led all players with 26 points, while grabbing seven rebounds, dishing out five assists and forcing six steals. Junior forward Gabriel Leifer generated his 13th double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while distributing six assists and shooting 9-for-12 from the field. Junior guard Simcha Halpert netted 18 points, including four 3-point baskets and dished out three dimes.

Yeshiva never trailed at any point in the game and led from wire-to-wire. Turell capped off a 6-0 run for YU by forcing a steal, driving to the basket and dunking the ball to give the home team an 18-8 advantage with 11:22 left in the opening half. Later in the stanza, Leifer received a feed from junior forward Daniel Katz and converted a layup to give the Maccabees their largest lead of the period, 27-13, with 7:17 left to play. The Panthers finished the first half strong by outscoring the Macs, 13-6, in the final 6:59 of the period to narrow YU’s lead to 33-26 at the intermission.

Yeshiva led by double-digits in the early stages of the second half, but a 3-point field goal by junior guard Pedro Marquez pulled the visiting team to within seven, at 61-54, with 8:01 remaining in regulation time. However, a pair of free throws by Turell sparked nine unanswered points by the Maccabees, giving the Blue and White a more comfortable 70-54 hold with 6:22 left to play. Later in the second half, Simcha Halpert nailed two straight 3-point attempts to blow the game open and give YU a 76-55 advantage with 4:48 to go. The hole would be too deep for Old Westbury to dig out of, and Yeshiva went on to earn its 13th conference win of the season, 88-66.

For the Maccabees, senior forward Tal Gweta had a solid game with nine points and six rebounds, while Katz had five points, eight rebounds, and two blocked shots. Freshman guard Jeffrey Owen dished out five assists to go along with two points and two caroms, while sophomore forward Caleb Milobsky added two points of his own. Sophomore guard Eitan Halpert produced four points, while senior guard Justin Hod and classmate Michael Hayon each hit a free throw. Sophomore guard Aidan Sokol forced a steal, while junior forward Kevin Bokor distributed an assist.

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