Macs Snap 50-Game Win Streak in Devastating Loss to Illinois Wesleyan Titans
The Macs lost 73-59 against the Illinois Wesleyan Titans, ending the team’s 50-game win streak with its first loss since November 2019.
Since the Macs’ first game of the season on Nov. 6, the team has been a spectacle of the Jewish world, receiving national media attention from ESPN and the NBA. The Macs entered the game ranked No. 1 in the NCAA DIII national ranking while the Titans ranked three spots lower at No. 4. Until this game, the Macs had not played against a top 25 team, making it one fans expected to be intense.
The game was set for 8 p.m. in a packed Max Stern Athletic Center with thousands of fans tuning in through MacsLive. But once the game began, things took a turn for the worse. The Macs started the game slowly and never recovered, as the Titans jumped out to a 6-0 lead and never relinquished it. The difference in the first half was field goal percentage, with Illinois hitting every open shot while YU struggled from the field. YU only shot 10/25 from the field in the first half and 0/9 from downtown. By contrast, Illinois shot 19/29 from the field and 9/14 from downtown, over 50 percent in both categories. Additionally, YU was outrebounded 21-7 in the half. The score at halftime was 49-29 with the Macs down by 20.
Unfortunately for the Macs, the second half was not much better. The team found itself faced with the same problems of lack of space and missing shots on offense. While YU went on several short runs and Ryan Turell made challenging shots, the Titans kept on firing back with baskets of their own. In the last five minutes, YU cut the lead to 14 but it was too little too late — the game ended with a final score of 73-59 in favor of the Titans. At the end of the game, fans applauded the Macs despite the loss.
Ryan Turell led the team with 22 points, with Eitan Halpert contributing 16 and Ethan Lasko adding 10. Overall, YU shot at just 40% from the field and 25% from the three-point range, both significantly below their season averages. The Macs also struggled with rebounding as the Titans scored 14 second-chance points.
The Macs' win streak dated back to 2019. The team advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA DIII tournament in 2020 with its streak at 29, but it was cut short due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Macs tacked on another seven wins last season, which also ended early because of the pandemic. YU worked to further their streak this season, starting out with 14 straight wins until succumbing tonight to Illinois Wesleyan.
The Macs' game against the No. 17-ranked Williams College was set for 5 p.m. on Sunday but was reportedly canceled.
Photo Caption: Ryan Turell led the team with 22 points in its game against the Titans.
Photo Credit: MacsLive