By: Alexander Wildes  | 

Macs’ Season Ends as Last Three Games Are Canceled

The final three games of the Yeshiva University Maccabees men’s basketball team’s season were unexpectedly canceled, according to the YU Macs’ website, bringing their 2020-21 season to a close. 

Two games against Manhattanville College were canceled on Friday, March 12 and a game against Sarah Lawrence College was canceled on March 17. Originally, Sarah Lawrence College was removed from the YU Macs’ website, before being rescheduled for Wednesday, March 17 and finally being canceled that day. When asked about the volatile schedule, Macs Head Coach Elliot Steinmetz said, “Covid protocols is all I can say.” Multiple players on the team declined to provide further comment regarding the reason for the cancelations. 

Since their loss in their first game of last season, the Macs have won 36 straight games — 29 last season and seven this season— and are tied with University of Wisconsin-Platteville for second all-time wins in DIII history; SUNY Potsdam holds the record with 60 consecutive wins. With the game against Sarah Lawrence canceled, the Macs lost their chance to extend their win streak this season to 37, which would break the current second-place record and place them ahead of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

In the current 2020-2021 season, the Maccabees have a 7-0 record. At least six games were canceled and others were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Games against Moravian College and Sarah Lawrence College were canceled, as well as two games against both Saint Thomas Aquinas College and Manhattanville College. Additionally, a separate game against Aquinas was first deleted from the website before being canceled. The Macs’ seven-game season leaves them with 23 less than last season’s 30.

The Macs as a team shot 49.9% from the field and 40.7% from the three-point line this season. The team’s top scorers were: Ryan Turell (26 points per game and 8.3 rebounds), Gabe Leifer (13.1 points per game, 10.4 rebounds per game and 6.9 assists per game and Eitan Halpert (18.1 points per game and 2.3 steals per game).

“We're happy that we have the opportunity to play any game we can and games getting canceled at this point are to be expected,” forward Gabe Leifer (SSSB ‘21) told The Commentator. “If we've learnt one thing from this pandemic it's that nothing is certain from one day to the next.”

The Macs are currently not scheduled to play any postseason games this year, as the Skyline Conference will not be hosting their playoffs and the NCAA decided to not host a DIII tournament this year. 

Leifer believes that there is a chance that YU will be able to play more games. Leifer told the NY Daily News that “It’s highly unlikely, but possible, somebody puts together a four-team tournament. We want to set ourselves up for any possible opportunity.”

Commenting on the season, Ofek Reef (SSSB ‘23), guard on the team, told The Commentator: “[We] want to thank all our fans who made time to tune in online and continue to cheer us on through the screens. I’m very excited to see what we can achieve and how we can keep the Jewish community proud of what we’re doing and show everyone we are legit contenders.”

Photo Caption: The final three games of the Yeshiva University Maccabees men’s basketball team’s season were unexpectedly canceled.
Photo Credit: Yeshiva Athletics