Yeshiva Knocks Off Old Westbury for Program-Record Ninth Straight Win

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OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. – The Yeshiva University men's basketball team earned a key Skyline Conference victory, defeating the College at Old Westbury by a score of 76-48, at the Clark Athletic Center on Tuesday evening. Yeshiva extends its winning streak to nine games, which sets a program-record for the longest unbeaten streak as a member of the NCAA.

It was the battle of the top two teams in the conference standings coming into Tuesday's matchup. With the victory, the Maccabees advance to 8-2 in the conference (10-5 overall) and remain in first-place. The Panthers drop to 8-4 in conference contests (10-7 overall) and drop into a three-way tie for third-place with Farmingdale State and Mount Saint Mary.

Leading the way for the Maccabees was junior forward Gabriel Leifer, who produced a double-double with 16 points and just as many rebounds, while dishing out five assists, blocking three shots, and forcing two steals. Junior guard Simcha Halpert scored 15 points and distributed five dimes. Senior forward Tal Gweta had a solid game with 14 points and four rebounds, while freshman guard Ryan Turell had 10 points, to go along with five assists and four boards.

The Maccabees had 24 assists as a team and shot 53.3 percent from the field. YU's strong defensive pressure limited Old Westbury to just 22.2 percent shooting from the field.

"Just a strong defensive effort to help us get a huge conference win out of the break," Yeshiva University head coach Elliot Steinmetz said. "We need to keep competing on the defensive side, so we can keep winning games."

This was Yeshiva's first game since December 27.

The Maccabees never trailed at any point in the game. Yeshiva scored the first 12 points of the evening, capped off by a 3-point field goal from Gweta 3:58 into the contest. Later in the half, Turell received the ball from junior guard Tyler Hodand nailed a jump shot to give Yeshiva its largest lead of the period, at 30-15, with 6:34 left until the break. Old Westbury would go on a run to pull to within five (34-29), with 1:36 left in the half. Simcha Halpert helped Yeshiva end the period on a positive note, by laying the ball up and in with 14 ticks left on the clock, to send Yeshiva into the locker rooms with a 36-29 advantage.

It was all Yeshiva in the second half, as the Maccabees outscored the Panthers, 40-19, in the final 20 minutes of the game. With Yeshiva up by 14 (56-42), with just over eight minutes remaining in regulation time, Simcha Halpert received a feed from Gweta and nailed a 3-point shot that would spark Yeshiva to a 20-6 run to finish up the game.

For the evening, junior forward Daniel Katz added seven points, five rebounds, and three assists. Hod generated five points, forced three steals, grabbed two boards, and had just as many assists. Junior forward Kevin Bokor had five points with two rebounds, while freshman guard Jeffrey Owen scored two points. Sophomore forward Caleb Milobsky made his collegiate debut, scoring two points and grabbing a pair of rebounds. Senior forward Michael Hayon brought down five caroms and added a free throw, while sophomore guard Eitan Halpert had an assist.

For Old Westbury, junior guard Pedro Marquez scored 13 points, while senior forward Alan McDonald added 10 points with six boards.

Yeshiva will officially begin the second half of the Skyline schedule on Thursday, with a contest against Maritime College, at Riesenberg Gymnasium. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.