Kupferberg Leads No. 12 NYU Past Salve Regina

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The New York University men's basketball team picked up a 77-62 victory over Salve Regina University in the first round of the 2016 NYU Holiday Classic on Saturday afternoon, January 2, at the Jerome S. Coles Sports Center in Manhattan.
The Violets (7-0), who are ranked #12 in the most recent D3hoops.comTop 25 Poll, were led by Evan Kupferberg's career-high 33-points, as well as his 13 rebounds. The senior forward and co-captain led all players in both categories, while his point total bested his previous mark of 31 points set as a sophomore against Clarkson University on January 3, 2014, during that season's Holiday Classic.
"We came to play today. It means a lot to me [to score a career high]," said Kupferberg. "It's a credit to my team. They put me in the right spots to succeed. It's really a tribute to them."
The game started off back and forth in the first half, with both teams holding the lead at one point. After taking an 18-12 advantage, NYU slowed down a bit offensively, allowing the Seahawks (4-5) to go on a 16-5 run. Now trailing 28-23 with 6:10 left until the break, the Violets once again took control with a 14-4 run to close out the first half – 10 of those points coming from Kupferberg, including a dunk following a steal at the top of the key at 5:25.
NYU came out strong in the second half with a 9-0 run to take a 14-point lead and not allow Salve Regina to score until just under four minutes in. The Violets built their lead up to 17 points with just over one minute remaining in the contest en route to the convincing victory.
"I thought the key today was that we wore them down," said NYU Head Coach Joe Nesci. "They are an offensively-talented team that was undersized. I was impressed by their team, but I think we took advantage of our size and strength."
- NYU dominated the Seahawks in the paint, outscoring the visitors 56-30. The Violets also outrebounded Salve Regina 48-39.
Patrick Burns had another efficient outing. The senior forward finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds for his third straight double-double and fourth of the season.
- Kupferberg's performance was extremely proficient, as the 6-foot-6, Boca Raton, FL, native was 16-of-20 from the floor.
"Evan brought what he always brings, he just had more opportunities today," continued Nesci. "He always shoots for a high percentage, and today he was even more on the mark."
Ross Udine led all players in both assists (8) and steals (3). The sophomore point guard also chipped in 14 points and a career-high five rebounds.

Costis Gontikas contributed 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
The Violets will return to the court tomorrow, Sunday, January 3, when they host Emmanuel College at 2:00 pm in the second and final round of the Holiday Classic.