Macs Reach 38-Game Win Streak With First Two Victories of the Season
The Yeshiva University Maccabees extended their win streak to 38 games on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 7 with a 105-52 victory over Penn State Schuylkill during the Dutch Birch Tip-Off in Pennsylvania. The team beat the Lycoming College Warriors 90-54 the night prior, the first time the teams have faced each other since 1954.
The Macs entered the season ranked no. 2 in the NCAA DIII national ranking, the highest in school history. The team came into the game against Lycoming riding a 36-game win streak, the longest in YU’s history and tied for the second-longest in DIII history. This streak caused the Macs to receive news coverage from prominent media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, CNN and ESPN.
The team made some improvements in the off-season, acquiring DI player Ethan Lasko, who is a first-year student at Cardozo School of Law, and Oberlin College’s Jordan Armstrong, a new graduate student at the Katz School. Good fortune also found the Macs when they received news that last year’s captains Gabe Leifer (SSSB ‘21) and Eitan Halpert (SSSB ‘21) would return for one last season. All four of these players were granted an extra year to play by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic ending the 2019-20 season in the middle of the playoffs and limiting the 2020-21 season for all DIII teams. The Macs played a total of seven games last season, with their last three unexpectedly canceled.
Saturday night’s game, the first time the Macs have played in front of fans since their Skyline Conference Championship victory in March 2020, began with a slow start. But the Macs found their offensive rhythm after a technical foul against Lycoming forward D’Andre Edmond. This incident lit a spark as the team then went on a 31-5 run en route to a 47-21 first-half lead. Ryan Turell (SSSB ‘22) led the way in the first half with 15 points off of 7-11 shooting.
The Macs extended their lead to 33 points to start the second half. While the Warriors played better then, they were unable to overcome the large point deficit built by the Macs.
Leading the night offensively for the Macs was Turell with 32 points, going 14-20 from the field. Ofek Reef (SSSB ‘23) also played a part in the opening victory, contributing 16 points off of 7-10 shooting. Leifer grabbed 10 rebounds, and Halpert posted 13 points. Newcomers Lasko and Armstrong also earned their first points as Maccabees.
Less than 24 hours later, the Macs were back in action against Penn State Schuylkill. Once again, the team got off to a slow start but kicked into high gear and took over from there. Like the previous night’s game, Turell led the charge, going 6-6 from the field including two three-pointers. At the end of the first half, the Macs held a commanding lead of 59-33.
The Macs did not take their foot off the pedal when the second half started, jumping out to a 16-0 run to extend their lead. Turell again led all players in scoring with 24 points off a perfect 9-9 afternoon from the field. Leifer posted a double-double, grabbing another 10 rebounds in addition to his 11 points. Overall the Macs shot 64%, an improvement from their previous night’s 58%. With these back-to-back victories, the Macs now officially hold the second-longest win streak in DIII history. On Wednesday, Nov. 10, the Macs will face off against the Eastern Connecticut State Warriors in the Max Stern Athletic Center on the Wilf Campus, where fans will be permitted for the first time since March 2020. COVID-19 vaccinations and masking are required for all attendees. The game will be broadcast via MacsLive.
Photo Caption: Ryan Turell (SSSB ‘22) led the way in the first half against Lycoming College with 15 points off of 7-11 shooting.
Photo Credit: Akiva Poppers/MacsLive.com