Strong Second Half Leads No. 8 Williams Over Yeshiva

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NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Yeshiva University men's basketball team suffered a non-conference loss to nationally-ranked No. 8 Williams College, 85-64, at the Max Stern Athletic Center on Sunday afternoon. The defending NESCAC champions advance to 5-0, while YU begins the season with an 0-4 record.

Leading the way for Yeshiva was junior guard Simcha Halpert, who produced 15 points, shooting 6-for-10 from the field, and distributed four assists. Freshman guard Ryan Turell added 11 points, grabbed four boards, and forced three steals. Freshman guard Daniel Tzion scored 10 points and clutched six boards.

As a team, Williams shot 50 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range. 

The Maccabees got off to a strong start, as a 3-point field goal by Simcha Halpert put YU in front by a score of 11-9, 6:04 into the contest. After the Maccabees forced a turnover, Simcha Halpert found Tzion, who successfully executed a layup to extend YU's lead to 13-9.

After Williams pulled to within two, Yeshiva countered with five unanswered points, capped off by a dunk from Turell to give the Maccabees an 18-11 advantage with 12:25 remaining in the opening half.

The Ephs responded with a 9-0 run to take a two-point lead. On Yeshiva's next possession, senior forward Michael Hayon found junior forward Daniel Katz, who knocked down a 3-point field goal to put the Macs in front, 21-20, with 9:50 remaining. The lead did not last long as a successful shot from beyond the arc by senior guard Bobby Casey allowed the Ephs to jump ahead, 23-21.

Williams was able to build its lead to 26-21, but back-to-back field goals by Simcha Halpert and Tzion pulled Yeshiva to within one. That's as close as the home team would get, as the Ephs executed a 16-3 run to take a commanding 42-28 lead with 2:30 left before the break. Both teams entered halftime with the score 45-35 in favor of Williams.

Yeshiva could not generate a run to get the game close in the second half, as Williams outscored the opposition by a 40-29 margin in the game's final 20 minutes. The Ephs led by double-digits for the entire period and were up by as many as 27. The eighth-ranked team in the country went on to win the contest, 85-64.

For the Maccabees, Katz had a balanced game with seven points, four rebounds, and three dimes, while junior forward Gabriel Leifer produced four points, grabbed six boards, blocked two shots, and forced a pair of steals. Senior forward Tal Gweta and freshman guard Jeffrey Owen each scored four points, with the latter collecting two steals. Sophomore guard Eitan Halpert and first-year guard Albert Waxman each hit a shot from beyond the arc, while Hayon added a 2-point field goal with a pair of boards. Sophomore guard Sammy Mandel converted a free throw, while junior forward Kevin Bokor grabbed four rebounds.

For the Ephs, Casey led all players with 20 points, while senior forward Kyle Scadlock produced a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Senior forward James Heskett added 14 points of his own. 

Yeshiva will host St. Joseph's College Brooklyn, in a Skyline Conference matchup at the Max Stern Athletic Center, on Tuesday evening. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.