Men’s Hoops Falters In Second Half To No. 4 Yeshiva

Photo taken by Steve McLaughlin - March 1, 2021
Photo taken by Steve McLaughlin - March 1, 2021

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Despite an impressive eight-point first-half lead in its home opener, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's basketball team could not stop the No. 4 ranked Yeshiva University Maccabees (YU) from winning its nation's best 35th straight game, defeating USJ, 71-62, inside the O'Connell Center Monday night.

The Maccabees (6-0) are now one win shy of the second longest winning streak in the history of Division III Men's Basketball, according to D3Hoops.com. The Blue Jays (0-2) have lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2019, their first-ever season.

Senior forward Jordan Powell (Middletown, Conn.) led the way for USJ with 15 points on 7-of-14 from the field. Junior guard Jaecee Martin (Hartford, Conn.) made his mark on both ends, scoring 14 points and dishing out nine assists. The big story of the night came from the Maccabees two big stars: senior forward Gabriel Leifer (Lawrence, N.Y.), and junior forward Ryan Turell (Los Angeles, Calif.) made their presence known throughout the night even when things weren't going well, catapulting the Maccabees to a 15-point second half swing. Leifer finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, while Turell nailed a series of pullup bank-shots from both ends of the floor, and finished with a game-high 22 points on 3-of-8 from downtown.

The Blue Jays led by eight at the break, but the Maccabees set the tone to start the second half and used an 11-2 run to take the lead, 38-37, with 16:34 to play. After some hard-nosed back and forth action, Yeshiva finally put a stranglehold on the contest with 8:00 to go. They would never trail again.

GAME INFORMATION
Score: Yeshiva 71, Saint Joseph 62
Records: YU (6-0), USJ (0-2)
Location: O'Connell Athletic Center | West Hartford, Conn.

COACH QUOTE [Glen Miller]
"[Yeshiva] is obviously a terrific team. Their execution is at a high level, and they maintain that throughout the course of the game. We got a little fatigued in the second half, and all the fundamentals of defense went with it."

NUMBER TO KNOW
62 – The Blue Jays scored just 27 points in the second, totaling 62 for the game, the second fewest points in a game in school history, and the fewest since November 24, 2018.

NOTES

  • Yeshiva moved up from No. 6 to No. 4 in the nation in the most recent d3hoops.com top-15 poll following the win over USJ on Saturday night. The Blue Jays, who are currently unranked, received nine votes in the most recent poll.
  • Both USJ and Yeshiva qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2020. Yeshiva advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before the tournament was abruptly cancelled due to the pandemic.
  • The 35 consecutive wins for Yeshiva marks the longest current winning streak in the nation and it's also the third longest in Division III history.

UP NEXT
The USJ men's basketball team will look to get in the win column when they take on Babson College next on Saturday, March 6, at 1:00 p.m. USJ will then return home to play Babson on Sunday, March 7, also at 1:00 p.m.

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