Yeshiva Extends Win Streak to Four With Key Skyline Win at Mount Saint Vincent

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RIVERDALE, N.Y. – The Yeshiva University men's basketball team earned an impressive Skyline win over Mount Saint Vincent, 78-75, at the Peter Jay Sharp Center on Thursday evening. The Dolphins were in first place coming into Thursday's contest. Yeshiva has now won four games in a row to advance to 8-6 in Skyline play (10-9 overall) and move into a tie with Mount Saint Mary for fourth place. Mount Saint Vincent drops to 11-4 in the conference (13-7 overall).

The Maccabees led by as many as 22 points midway through the second half, but the Dolphins outscored the Macs, 26-7, during the remaining 8:09 of the contest. Mount Saint Vincent had an opportunity to tie the game on the final possession, but could not capitalize on two 3-point field goal attempts in the closing seconds, allowing the Maccabees to clinch the key conference win.

"Sometimes when you build a big lead, it's just to hold on down the stretch," Yeshiva University head coach Elliot Steinmetz said. "Big win on the road for us."

Four players on Yeshiva scored in double-figures, with three of them scoring at least 20 points. Sophomore forward Gabriel Leifer produced a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds, which were game highs. He also blocked five shots, distributed just as many assists, and forced one steal. Classmate Bar Alluf produced 20 points, while hitting all five of his 3-point field goal attempts. Sophomore guard Simcha Halpert scored 20 points of his own. Classmate Daniel Katz produced 10 points, while dishing out four assists and grabbing three rebounds.

Yeshiva shot 51.8 percent from the field and 51.7 percent from 3-point range.

The Maccabees dominated the opening half, drilling 12 shots from beyond the arc. A 3-point field goal by Leifer sparked a 10-0 run for the Maccabees, putting the visiting team up by a score of 25-9 with 11:28 remaining in the first period. Later in the half, Leifer successfully executed a layup, while being fouled. He nailed the free throw to complete the traditional three-point play to equal Yeshiva's largest lead of the game, 39-27. In the closing seconds of the period, Alluf nailed a 3-point shot of his own to extend YU's lead to 54-32, and that would be the score at the end of the half.

Mount Saint Vincent got off to a strong start in the second stanza, pulling to within 15, less than seven minutes in. Alluf answered with another shot from beyond the arc to increase YU's lead to 64-46. After Brian Brooks hit a field goal for the Dolphins, Halpert connected on a shot from beyond the arc to increase Yeshiva's lead to 67-47, with 11:04 remaining in regulation time. On the next offensive possession, junior forward Tal Gweta laid the ball up and in to put the Macs up by 22.

After Katz's successful jump shot made it 71-49 in favor of Yeshiva, Mount Saint Vincent tilted momentum into its favor by scoring 13 unanswered points, in a span of 4:14, to cut the Blue and White's lead to single digits, at 71-62. Alluf halted the home team's momentum by nailing a jumper, while drawing a foul. He hit a shot from the charity stripe to complete the three-point play, and put Yeshiva back up by double digits, 74-62, with 3:55 left to play in the second half. After Mount Saint Vincent cut it back to 10, Leifer countered with a layup to extend Yeshiva's lead to 76-64.

The Dolphins would not go down without a fight, as the home team scored 11 unanswered points, capped off by a 3-pointer by Ammad Alkuhlaidi, to pull the home team to within one, at 76-75, with less than 30 ticks left on the clock. Halpert was fouled intentionally, sending him to the line. He successfully hit a pair of timely free throws to give YU a three-point lead, at 78-75, with 17 seconds left. CMSV had one more opportunity to tie the game. Racquis Harris attempted a 3-pointer that rimmed off. Andrew Curiel grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked it back out to Harris, who tried another 3-point shot to tie. The ball bounced off the rim as the buzzer went off, signaling a key Skyline win for the Maccabees.

For Yeshiva, Gweta scored seven points, with four rebounds, and two blocks. Sophomore guard Tyler Hod dished out four assists with three rebounds, while sophomore forward Kevin Bokor brought down three boards and forced two steals. Senior forward Eli Mamann distributed two assists.

For Mount Saint Vincent, Alkuhlaidi just missed a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds. He also dished out seven assists with two blocks and just as many steals. Curiel scored 17 points with seven caroms, three blocks, and two assists. Jason Barrara added 12 points, while Harris scored 10 points with five boards and three steals.

Yeshiva will be back in action on Saturday night, for a Skyline Conference contest at Sarah Lawrence College. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.