Gontikas Leads No. 12 NYU Past Emmanuel 79-61

More news about: New York University

The New York University men's basketball team remained undefeated on the season with a 79-61 victory over Emmanuel College on Sunday afternoon, January 3, at the Jerome S. Coles Sports Center in Manhattan. The contest was the final game of the 2016 installment of the NYU Holiday Classic – the 10th annual.
"We settled in defensively and gave a great effort," said NYU Assistant Coach Adam Parmenter. "We held Emmanuel under their shooting average for the year and kept them well under their rebounding average."
Costis Gontikas controlled play all game long for the Violets (8-0) as the senior center led all players with career bests in points (30) and blocks (6). Additionally, Evan KupferbergPatrick Burns and Max Ralbyhad two blocks a piece to give NYU a total of 12 for the game. That ties the single-game program record, which was also set in 2005 and 1990.
"It doesn't matter who scores the most, it only matters that we win," said Gontikas. "Ross and Max make it a lot easier for us. They do a great job of getting us the ball."
The two teams traded the lead a couple of times in the early portion of the first half, but a Gontikas layup at 14:42 and dunk at 14:18 tied the game and then gave NYU the lead, respectively. Those two baskets sparked an 11-0 run for the Violets, who would not trail for the remainder of the contest.
The Saints (1-8) would come right back, though, with an 8-1 run of their own to bring the score to 20-18 in favor of NYU. But the Violets put the kibosh on that quickly by scoring the next 12 points to take a 14-point lead at 32-18 with 2:01 left in the first half. They would take a 16-point lead into halftime.
NYU kept Emmanuel at arm's length for the entirety of the second half and did not allow the Saints to get closer than 12. The Violets took as large as a 27-point lead at one point en route to the victory.
"We have to keep this intensity and keep building on it for the tough conference season ahead," continued Parmenter.
Gontikas and Kupferberg, along with Ross Udine, were name to the NYU Holiday All-Classic team. Joining them were Reginald Finney and Kareem Davis of Becker College, which also went 2-0 at the Classic.
- Gontikas was an efficient 14-of-17 from the floor and added eight rebounds and two assists. His point total helped NYU to a 46-16 points-in-the-paint advantage. No other Violet finished with double-digit totals in attempted shots or points.
Ross Udine led all players with 10 assists and added seven points and four rebounds.
Kade Kager finished with a NYU-career-best nine points in 12 minutes. The junior transfer also added two assists.
- Kupferberg led all players with nine rebounds and added seven points. Ralby notched seven points and eight rebounds.
Brad Lahens finished with five points and a career-best seven rebounds in a career-high-tying 11 minutes.
- Alex Minetti was the only other player in double figures and led the Emmanuel attack with 10 points.
The Violets will return to action when they travel to Aurora, NY, on Tuesday, January 5, for a 7:00 pm contest at Wells College.