Yeshiva Executes Strong Defense Down the Stretch to Earn Comeback Win Over Washington College

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CHESTERTOWN, Md. – The Yeshiva University men's basketball team outscored Washington College, 40-27, during the final 20 minutes of the game to earn the come-from-behind victory by a score of 78-68, at the Cain Athletic Center on Sunday afternoon. The Maccabees (3-1) have now won three games in a row, while the Shoremen drop to 1-2.

Yeshiva trailed 64-62 with 7:38 remaining in regulation time but responded with a 12-0 run in a span of 6:21 to earn its third win of the season.

"I thought we corrected a lot of things defensively in the second half, which changed the game," Yeshiva University Head Coach Elliot Steinmetz said. "Our guys buckled down and took away the paint."

Yeshiva's defense did not allow Washington College to convert a field goal for 8:01, during the late stages of the game.

Leading the way for the Maccabees was sophomore guard Ryan Turell, who produced a game-high 32 points, while grabbing four rebounds, distributing a pair of assists, and blocking just as many shots. Senior forward Gabriel Leifer produced a double-double with 15 points and a game-best 17 rebounds. The Lawrence native led all players with seven assists to go along with two steals and a block.

Yeshiva got off to a slow start in the game by falling behind, 16-4, 5:19 into the contest. Freshman guard Ofek Reef forced a steal and executed a fast break layup to highlight a 9-2 run to get the Blue and White back into the game. Turell capped off the run by receiving a feed from Reef and converting a jump shot, while being fouled. He added the free throw to complete the three-point play to narrow YU's deficit to 18-13 with 12:10 remaining in the opening half.

With less than two minutes remaining in the period, a pair of free throws by Washington College sophomore guard Tray Wright put YU in a 37-32 hole. However, Turell and junior forward Caleb Milobsky combined for back-to-back shots from beyond the arc to give Yeshiva its first lead of the game, 38-37, with 46 ticks left in the half. The Shoremen scored the last four points of the stanza to take a 41-38 advantage into the break.

Washington College built to its largest lead of the second half, 51-44, with 15:10 remaining in regulation time. Yeshiva countered as a jump shot plus a pair of free throws by Turell sparked an 8-0 run to put the Macs in front, 52-51. After the Shoremen reclaimed the lead, senior guard Simcha Halpert answered with a 3-point field goal to catapult the Blue and White to a 55-53 advantage with 11:21 left to play.

Later in the second half, junior forward Daniel Brown of Washington College broke a 60-60 tie with a successful 3-point shot to put his team up with 8:32 to go.

From that point on, Yeshiva's defense took over by not allowing the opposition to score a field goal for the next 8:31. Wright went 1-for-2 from the free throw line during that stretch to extend the Shoremen's narrow lead to 64-62. The lead did not last much longer as strong defense and timely baskets propelled the Maccabees to 12 unanswered points to take a commanding 74-64 hold. Turell began the run with a pair of free throws to tie the game, and then scored the game's next four points on back-to-back successful field goals to give the Macs the lead for good, at 68-64, with 3:18 to go. Yeshiva padded its lead thanks to a layup by Reef to make it 70-64, Macs.

With just over a minute to go, Milobsky drew a foul and hit both shots from the charity stripe to give Yeshiva its largest lead of the game (74-64). Washington College could not string together a rally during the final minute, as Halpert capped it off with a pair of free throws to seal Yeshiva's second win in less than 24 hours.

For the afternoon, Halpert and Reef each scored 13 points, with the former grabbing five rebounds and the latter dishing out five assists and collecting a pair of steals. Milobsky led all players with four blocks, while adding five points and six rebounds. "Milobsky made himself a big presence in the paint," Steinmetz said.

Four players scored in double-figures for Washington College, including a team-best 16 points from Wright.

Yeshiva will host Brooklyn College in its home opener on Thursday, at the Max Stern Athletic Center, beginning at 8:00 p.m.