21 for No. 21: As Streak Continues, Men’s Basketball Clinches First Place, Home Court for Skyline Championships
The Macs won their 21st consecutive game on Tuesday night with a 94-62 victory against St. Joseph’s College Brooklyn (8-14) at the Max Stern Athletic Center (MSAC). With Tuesday’s win, and losses by SUNY Purchase and the College at Old Westbury, the Macs clinched the No. 1 seed in the Skyline Conference Championships — their first No. 1 seed placement in history — ensuring home court through the postseason. The Macs are now 21-1 on the season and 13-0 in conference play.
“Nice to know we've locked in home court,” Yeshiva University Head Coach Elliot Steinmetz (SSSB ‘02) said to YUMacs.com. “The guys have worked hard, but there's still a lot for this team to accomplish.”
In addition to moving up from No. 22 to No. 21 in the D3hoops.com weekly national ranking, the Macs were ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Division III Atlantic Region, behind Stevens Institute of Technology. This is the highest regional ranking ever for the team. The first time the Macs made it to these rankings was in the 2018-2019 season, when they ranked sixth.
This is the first of three regional rankings that will be released by the NCAA during the course of the season, which will be followed by a fourth ranking after the tournament bracket on Monday, March 2. There are eight regions in DIII, each of which contain between eight and eleven teams.
“It’s wonderful to see our team ranked so high and set another YU ‘first,’” Yeshiva University Director of Athletics Joe Bednarsh told YUMacs.com. “Our young men have worked so hard to get here and each accolade makes me prouder.”
In their most recent victory, Gabriel Leifer (SSSB ‘20), now three-time Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association DII-DIII player of the week, produced his third triple-double with 10 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds. The leading scorer of the game was freshman guard Ofek Reef (SSSB ‘23), who had 18 off the bench. Reigning Skyline Rookie of the Year, sophomore Ryan Turell (SSSB ‘22), scored 15 points on perfect 7-7 shooting, putting him just 10 points away from 1,000 for his career. If he continues at this pace, Turell will soon be the fastest player to 1,000 points in program history, with less than two full seasons under his belt.
The Macs have an extended break after Tuesday’s win, their first three-day layoff since they returned from their mid-semester break. It seemed Steinmetz started the break early for some of his starters, none of whom played more than 29 minutes.
The Macs (21-1) play conference rival and reigning Skyline Champions Farmingdale State (12-10) on Saturday, Feb. 15 at MSAC. Tip off is at 8:30 p.m.
Photo Caption: The Macs have won 21 games in a row.
Photo Credit: YUMacs.com