Yeshiva Surges Past St. Joseph's Long Island For Skyline Win

More news about: Yeshiva

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. – The Yeshiva University men's basketball team earned a convincing Skyline Conference road win over St. Joseph's Long Island, 84-65, at the Danzi Center on Sunday afternoon. Yeshiva now moves into the sixth and final playoff spot in the conference standings with a 6-6 Skyline record (8-9 overall), while St. Joseph's Long Island drops to 4-8 in league play (4-13 overall).

"Great energy defensively for us on the road," Yeshiva University head coach Elliot Steinmetz said. "We have to keep building on these last two road games."

Yeshiva shot 63 percent (34-for-54) from the field and drained seven 3-point field goals. Leading the way was sophomore forward Gabriel Leifer, who produced a double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds. The Lawrence resident also dished out four assists and shot 10-for-15 from the field. Classmate Bar Alluf scored 28 points on 12-for-17 shooting, while sophomore guard Simcha Halpert added 15 points with seven boards.

The Maccabees got off to a sluggish start, falling behind 13-2, just under four minutes into the game. Yeshiva would slowly chip away at the deficit, as a successful jump shot by Halpert capped off a 13-5 run by the Macs to cut the Golden Eagles' lead to 18-15 with 10:46 to go in the opening half.

After St. Joseph's extended its lead back to five, Yeshiva answered by scoring 14 unanswered points, in a span of 4:11, to take a 29-20 lead. Alluf began the run with a 3-point field goal. On the next play, sophomore guard Tyler Hod forced a steal and fed it to Alluf, who laid it up and in off a fast break to tie the game, 20-20. Leifer grabbed a defensive rebound off a missed shot and went down the court to hit a 3-pointer, to put Yeshiva in front for good, 23-20. Sophomore forward Kevin Bokor capped off the run by successfully executing a layup on a fast break off a feed from Leifer, to give the Maccabees a nine-point lead, with 5:31 left to play in the period.

Later in the half, Leifer laid the ball up and in, while being fouled. He hit the free throw to complete the traditional three-point play and extend YU's lead to 40-28 with 2:39 remaining. Both teams went into the locker rooms with Yeshiva in the lead, 42-30.

The Maccabees came storming out of the gate in the second half, as a fast break layup by Halpert increased YU's advantage to 50-33, with 17:43 remaining in regulation time. St. Joseph's was able to shift momentum into its favor by scoring 10 unanswered points, capped off by a successful jump shot from Jarred Marrow, to narrow Yeshiva's lead to seven, with 15:49 to go in the second half.

Yeshiva was able interrupt St. Joseph's rally on the next possession, thanks to a timely 3-point field goal by Leifer, to go back up by double-digits.  After the Golden Eagles pulled to within eight, the Maccabees countered by scoring 11 unanswered points to take a 64-49 advantage with 9:56 to go. After the home team pulled to within 17 on two occasions, Yeshiva scored four points a row, capped off by a 2-point field goal by Halpert, to give Yeshiva more breathing room at 72-51.

After St. Joseph's Long Island narrowed YU's lead to 72-57, the Maccabees scored the game's next seven points. Halpert once again completed Yeshiva's run, this time with a successful 3-point shot, to give the Maccabees their largest lead of the game at 79-57, with 3:46 remaining in regulation time. The Golden Eagles could not generate another run, as Yeshiva went on to earn the Skyline win, 84-65.

For the afternoon, junior guard Tal Gweta scored eight points, while Tyler Hod produced four points with three boards. Sophomore forward Daniel Katz had two points, brought down three caroms, and distributed just as many assists. Bokor had two boards, and just as many blocks, to go along with his two points, while junior guard Justin Hod had two rebounds. In his first collegiate basketball game, freshman forward Michael Bixon brought down a carom.

Stephen Cohen led St. Joseph's Long Island with 12 points, three rebounds, and just as many assists.

Yeshiva will return to the friendly confines of the Max Stern Athletic Center on Tuesday, for a key Skyline Conference matchup against Mount Saint Mary College. Tip-off will take place at 8:00 p.m.