NYU Sweeps 2015 Holiday Classic with Win over BSU

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The New York University men's basketball team improved to 18-0 all-time in NYU Holiday Classic history, going 2-0 during the 2015 installment. The Violets finished with a 78-73 victory over Bridgewater State University on Saturday afternoon, January 3, at the Jerome S. Coles Sports Center in Manhattan.

NYU (7-2) and Bridgewater State (6-4) competed in a tightly-contested matchup throughout, but the Violets were able to come out with the hard-fought victory.

"They took advantage of some matchups against us later in the game," said NYU Assistant CoachNelson Albino. "Then we fought back and in those same matchups. I thought our guys buckled down and got stops."

After seeing their 11-point lead early in the first dwindle to just three with time winding down, the Violets' game-clinching play came courtesy of Max Ralby. The junior captain held the ball a few feet beyond the top of the key with just 36 seconds remaining. Ralby launched a three falling backwards as the shot clock expired, giving the Violets a comfortable six-point lead and the eventual five-point victory.

"It showed we had defensive toughness and defensive grit to grind out stops late in the game to pull out a win like that," continued Albino. "Later in the year when there are tight games, a game like this is something we can refer back to."

Also playing key roles for NYU in its two victories this weekend were 2015 All-Classic selections Evan Kupferberg and Costis Gontikas. The junior big men led the Violets in scoring during both wins. Kupferberg scored a team-high 20 points and pulled down a game-best 14 rebounds against the Bears on Saturday, while Gontikas chipped in 12 points and six rebounds. Each player also recorded a blocked shot.

Overall, the Violets once again dominated down low behind their two junior forwards. NYU outscored BSU 24-10 in second-chance points and 52-36 in points in the paint, while outrebounding the Bears 39-28.

"It's a key every game to feed our big guys inside," said Albino. "We have to trust that they will make the right play out of it, whether it's scoring or making a pass out of the post. Inside-out basketball is the way we want to play."


- Ralby finished with 10 points, three assists and two rebounds.

Ross UdinePatrick Burns and Hakeem Harris each chipped in eight points on the day. Udine had three rebounds, two assists and a steal, while Burns grabbed four rebounds and blocked a shot, and Harris finished with three boards, one assist and a steal.

Alec Papesch contributed seven points and four rebounds.

The Violets will be back in action when they travel to Kings Point, NY, on Tuesday night, January 6. NYU will tip off against the United State Merchant Marine Academy at 7:30 pm. Live stats and live video will be available.