Strong Start for Yeshiva Not Enough Against No. 3 Williams College

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The Yeshiva University men's basketball team dropped a non-conference matchup to nationally-ranked No. 3 Williams College, 78-65, at the John Wesley Athletic Center on Sunday afternoon. Yeshiva falls to 2-2 overall, while Williams College remains undefeated at 4-0.

The Maccabees outscored the Ephs, 38-34, in the second half. However, YU could not overcome Williams' strong finish to the first half, in which the home team outscored Yeshiva, 26-10, in the period's final eight minutes.

Leading the way for the Macs was sophomore guard Simcha Halpert, who had a team-high 20 points and five assists, while grabbing a rebound and forcing a steal. Classmate Bar Alluf just missed a double-double with 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds. He also dished out three assists and had two steals. Junior guard Justin Hod added 11 points with a rebound, assist, and a steal.

Yeshiva started the game strong as a 3-pointer by Halpert put the Maccabees up, 3-2, less than a minute into the contest. Alluf converted on a pair of free throws on the next offensive possession to extend YU's lead to 5-2.

Later in the half, the Maccabees found themselves on the trailing end of a 10-5 score. Alluf drilled a shot from beyond the arc to pull the Macs to within two. On the next Yeshiva offensive possession, Alluf produced three points the old fashioned way, by converting a layup while being fouled. He added the free throw to put the Blue and White up, 11-10, with 11:35 remaining in the half.

Williams scored five unanswered points to go up 15-11. Yeshiva inched closer as Alluf fed the ball to sophomore forward Daniel Katz, who nailed a 3-point shot to narrow the Ephs' lead to 15-14, with 9:33 left to play. With the score 17-14 in favor of Williams, Alluf forced a steal and converted a layup on a fast break to pull the Maccabees to within one. On the next offensive possession, junior forward Tal Gweta laid the ball up and in to give the Macs an 18-17 advantage, with 8:09 remaining until intermission.

From that point on, Williams shifted momentum into its favor by going on a 26-10 run to end the half and give the home team a commanding 44-27 advantage at the end of 20 minutes of play.

The Ephs led by as many as 27 points in the second half. The Maccabees would not go down without a fight, as the visiting team went on a 14-2 run in the final 6:31 of the contest, capped off by a 3-point field goal by Hod with one second left on the clock. It was not enough, as Williams went on to win the non-conference contest, 78-65.

For the game, Gweta and Katz each scored seven points, with the former grabbing six boards and dishing out three assists, while the latter brought down three rebounds, produced one assist, and had two steals. Sophomore forward Kevin Bokor added four points with a rebound, while junior forward Michael Hayongrabbed four rebounds, produced two points, dished out just as many assists, and forced a steal.

Yeshiva will return to Skyline Conference play on Tuesday, against St. Joseph's College Brooklyn at the Hill Center, beginning at 8:00 p.m.