Men’s Basketball Rallies to Advance to Skyline Conference Championships Semifinals
The Yeshiva University men’s basketball team overcame a 17-point deficit to defeat Mount Saint Mary in a Skyline Conference first round game, 80-67, as fans cheered them on in the packed Max Stern Athletic Center on Tuesday evening. The No. 4-seeded Maccabees advance to the semi-final round of the Skyline Conference championships and will face the defending conference champion and No. 1 seed Farmingdale State.
“The resiliency our guys show night in and night out is just special,” basketball head coach Elliot Steinmetz said. “To fall behind early and just never stop going takes a special kind of chemistry. These kids have that.”
After getting off to a slow start shooting the ball, Yeshiva (16-12) turned it on in the second half to shoot 46.7 percent overall. The Maccabees outscored the Knights, 45-28, in the final 20 minutes of the contest. Yeshiva won the battle of the boards, 31-24.
“When we came out of the locker room and saw all the fans we knew it was going to be a fun night,” said forward Gabriel Leifer. “We have amazing coaches who prepared us with a very detailed scout for each player on their team. The coaches helped us adjust to the moment and stick together even when down. When we stick to scout and play the way we have played all year long, we’re confident and very tough to stop. All around it was a team effort to regather and we couldn’t have done it without the crowd and the bench support.”
Sophomore forward Bar Alluf and Leifer each produced a double-double, with the former scoring 18 points with 12 rebounds, and the latter producing 17 points with 13 boards. Each player dished out five assists. Sophomore guard Simcha Halpert contributed to Yeshiva’s balanced scoring with 15 points and is poised to break YU’s all-time single season scoring record, while junior guard Justin Hod added 13 points with two assists.
For the evening, Bokor and sophomore forward Daniel Katz each scored seven points, with the former grabbing four rebounds and distributing three assists. Tyler Hod added three points with five rebounds, three assists, and a pair of steals. Senior forward Eli Mamann, freshman guard Yoav Deutsch, and freshman forward Michael Bixon each grabbed a rebound. Freshman guard Sammy Mandel made his first appearance in a postseason game.
“It was an amazing game last night and the players were clearly energized by the capacity crowd,” said Athletics Director Joe Bednarsh. “It’s the second time in three years that the Maccabees advanced to the conference semi-finals and a clear indication that all the hard work that our coaches and student-athletes put in is paying off. YU pride is at a tremendous high right now and I couldn’t be happier that the Macs are driving that.”
The semi-final matchup between the Macs and Farmingdale will take place on Thursday at the Nold Hall Athletic Complex, beginning at 7:00 p.m.