(yumacs.com) The nationally-ranked No. 22 Yeshiva University men’s basketball team knocked off perennial NCAA Tournament contender Williams College, by a score of 77-68, at the John Wesley Chandler Athletic Center on Monday evening.
Yeshiva advances its record to 18-1 which is the best start in the 89-year history of the program. The Maccabees extend their winning streak to 18 games which sets a school record.
“Just a good road win against a tough NESCAC team,” Yeshiva University Head Coach Elliot Steinmetz said. “They did a good job taking us out of our rhythm early, but our depth really helped us tonight.”
The Maccabees never trailed during the second half, as timely baskets and free throw shooting led the Blue and White to a key road victory. For the game, Yeshiva shot 50.0% from the field, including 42.3% from 3-point range, and went 12-for-13 from the charity stripe.
Four Macs players reached double-digits in scoring. Junior forward Caleb Milobsky led the team with a career-high 19 points, while grabbing six rebounds. Senior forward Gabriel Leifer produced his 15th double-double of the season with 12 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, while leading all players with seven assists. Sophomore guard Ryan Turell had 18 points and brought down six caroms. Senior guard Simcha Halpert added 12 points of his own.
Williams (10-11) held the lead three times in the opening half. The third and final time was courtesy of a pair of free throws from first-year guard Cole Prowitt-Smith to put the Ephs up, 18-16, with 11:18 remaining in the opening stanza.
After freshman guard Ofek Reef converted a layup to tie the game, Simcha Halpert forced a steal and delivered the ball to Leifer. Leifer then fed it to junior guard Eitan Halpert, who drained a 3-point field goal to give YU a 21-18 advantage with 10:26 left to play in the half. That sparked a 9-0 run by the Macs, capped off by a successful jump shot by Turell, to give the visiting team a 25-18 hold with 9:06 to go.
After Williams rallied to pull to within one, at 27-26, Yeshiva finished the half strong with a 9-2 run. In the final play of the half, Turell received the inbound pass and drained a three-pointer from the corner, at the buzzer, to give Yeshiva its biggest lead of the game, 38-28, at the intermission.
The Ephs started the second half with an 8-2 run to pull to within four. A few minutes later, Milobsky drilled a timely 3-point field goal to give Yeshiva more breathing room, at 47-40, with 13:14 remaining in regulation time. After Williams pulled to within four, Milobsky countered with yet another shot from beyond the arc to increase Yeshiva’s lead back to seven.
Williams refused to quit as a 3-point shot by senior guard Mickey Babek concluded a 10-4 run to pull the home team to within one, at 54-53, with 8:22 to go. After Williams evened the game at 56 points apiece, Milobsky came through once again with a key shot from downtown to allow YU to regain the lead. After Yeshiva managed to get a stop on the defensive end, Eitan Halpert converted a jump shot to extend the Macs’ advantage to 61-56, with 6:08 to go. After Babek’s 3-point shot made it a one possession game, Milobsky struck again with a 3-pointer of his own to give Yeshiva more breathing room at 64-59, with 5:12 remaining in the second half.
Less than two minutes left in the game, senior center Matt Karpowicz converted a layup to shrink YU’s lead to 69-66. After both teams went scoreless during the next two possessions, Yeshiva got the ball back with less than a minute to play. Turell launched a shot just before the shot clock expired that swished through the net to extend Yeshiva’s lead to two possessions, at 71-66, with 54 ticks left on the clock. That would be the unofficial victory-clinching basket as Simcha Halpert and Leifer combined to go 6-for-6 from the charity stripe during the final minute to put the exclamation point on No. 22 Yeshiva’s historic win.
For the Maccabees, Eitan Halpert added seven points and three assists, while senior forward Daniel Katz scored five points of his own.
For the Ephs, Karpowicz scored a game-high 21 points and had seven rebounds.
No. 22 Yeshiva will resume Skyline play on Wednesday, with a matchup against Mount Saint Mary College, at the Kaplan Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.