Milobsky’s Break Out Leads No. 22 Men’s Basketball to Record 18 Straight Wins
In a game where the seventh man was the lead scorer, the Macs set a program record for longest win streak with 18 wins in a row with a 77-68 win over Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. The previous record, set by the 2018-2019 Macs, was 17 in a row between Dec. 1 and Feb. 14. The Macs are now 18-1 and undefeated (10-0) in conference play.
Averaging 16.9 minutes-per-game so far this season, junior forward Caleb Milobsky (SSSB ‘22) produced in his extended playing time, scoring a career-high 19 points while shooting 5-6 from the 3-point line and 7-9 overall. Milobsky’s three point shooting came in the clutch, slowing down a Williams 8-2 run early in the second half and breaking up a 56-56 tie with just over six minutes left in the game, giving the Macs the lead that they would hold for the rest of the night.
“My mentality was to not rush anything, and take good shots,” said Milobsky to MacsLive.com. “I’m playing with four other scorers, so there’s no need to rush anything, but when I got open looks I was pulling [the trigger].”
Milobsky’s breakout proves the immense depth of this Macs team. On a night when back-to-back Conference Player of the Week and back-to-back Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association DII-III Player of the Week Gabriel Leifer (SSSB ‘20) missed all of his three point attempts, the Macs still came away with a win. But Leifer remained a force on the court, where he pulled 15 rebounds to go along with seven assists. Leifer also scored 12 points, earning him his 15th double-double of the season. Furthermore, he and Simcha Halpert (SSSB ‘20) went 6-6 from the free throw line in the last minute, furthering the lead and clinching the Mac’s 18th win.
This win streak is more impressive when considering the schedule the team has following their extended break resulting from the disparity in vacation schedules of the other Skyline Conference schools. From Saturday, Jan. 25 to Saturday, Feb. 1 the Macs played five games and won all of them, only to turn around and drive to Massachusetts and win another game on Monday. Their competition, Skyline teams fighting for playoff spots in Sarah Lawrence, Purchase and Manhattanville, and a perennial NCAA tournament contender in Williams, challenges the Macs almost nightly. And as students of YU can attest, having a dual curriculum in college does not leave much time for anything but school work. Despite the additional burden of being student athletes, the Macs continue to thrive.
After debuting on the national ranking at No. 24, the Macs continued to impress the D3hoops.com voters by garnering 96 points and moving up to No. 22 in the season’s ninth iteration. Questions about if the team will win are morphing into how, as the Macs athleticism and communication on the court amaze spectators.
“The Macs have three of the best players in YU history,” said MacsLive beat reporter and Chief Content Officer Akiva Poppers (SSSB ‘22). “At all times they have five men of the court who are perfect fits for the motion offense, which makes them so efficient.”
The record-tying 17th win over Manhattanville College on Saturday night guaranteed the Macs an extended season as they qualified for the Skyline Conference championships. This marks their sixth season in a row with a playoff appearance. The winner of the playoff receives a bid in the 2020 NCAA Division Three tournament. The Macs qualified for the tournament in 2018 after winning the Skyline but exited in the first round after a loss to York College of Pennsylvania.
The Macs will play to extend their historic streak against Mount St. Mary (6-13) in Newburgh, NY on Wednesday evening, Feb. 5.
*Correction: Milobsky is the Macs seventh man. The update is reflected in the text
Photo Caption: Milobsky goes for a layup against Brooklyn College.
Photo Credit: YUMacs.com