NYU Returns to Play with 84-61 Win vs. Becker

More news about: New York University

The New York University men's basketball team returned from the Holiday Break to defeat Becker College 84-61 at the Jerome S. Coles Sports Center in Manhattan on Tuesday night, December 30.

"We looked really good on a number of fronts tonight," said NYU Assistant Coach Nelson Albino. "I thought our conditioning was there, which we took care of early when we came back from break, and I thought the guys ability to listen and execute the game plan was terrific."

The Violets (5-2) earned the victory behind a balanced scoring attack which saw five players score in double figures. Leading that charge for NYU were post players Evan Kupferberg and Costis Gontikas. Kupferberg notched his fifth double-double of the season and the 14th of his career by grabbing a game-best 15 rebounds and scoring 16 points. Gontikas finished with a team-high 17 points along with nine rebounds and a block.

"We need this kind of performance from Evan every game and he's doing better with his consistency," continued Albino. "His focus was especially better today than it has been and it showed so we were really proud of him."

After going back and forth for much of the first half, the Violets took a 40-34 lead over Becker (6-3) into the locker room at the break.

NYU came out in the second half with total control and outscored the Hawks 44-27 to stretch out their lead for the eventual 23-point victory.

The Violets controlled Becker on the boards and in the paint. NYU outrebounded the Hawks 51-22 and outscored them 42-18 in points in the paint and 21-4 in second-chance points. In addition, NYU's bench players made a huge impact, outscoring Becker's reserves 36-8.

"Our rebounding was a focus, as it is every game, but today especially," said Albino. "One of our goals was to win the second-chance points' and rebounding columns and they took that to heart and did a good job on the glass."


- The three other Violets to score in double figures were Ross Udine (12), Iyoha Agho (11) and Alec Papesch (10). Udine also finished with a game-best seven assists, Agho was 3-of-6 from three-point range and Papesch was one rebound short of a double-double with nine.

Joe Timmes chipped in eight points on 3-of-6 shooting and three rebounds.

Hakeem Harris and Coby Lefkowitz made their debuts for the Violets. Harris, a transfer from Division I Seton Hall University, chipped in five points and two assists in 11 minutes.

Max Ralby and Patrick Burns returned to the court and started for NYU after missing some time with injuries. Ralby contributed four assists, three points, one steal, and a rebound in 27 minutes, while Burns pulled down five rebounds in 21 minutes.

The Violets will return to the court after the New Year when they host the 2015 NYU Holiday Classic at Coles on Friday and Saturday, January 2-3. They face Gettysburg College at 2:00 pm on Friday and Bridgewater State University at 2:00 pm on Saturday. Live stats and live video will be available for both contests.