Yeshiva Drops Season-Opener to Occidental College

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LOS ANGELES – The Yeshiva University men's basketball team opened the 2019-20 season with a non-conference loss to Occidental College, 72-60, at Rush Gymnasium on Saturday evening. The Maccabees fall to 0-1, while the Tigers begin the year 2-0.

Occidental shot 63.3% from the field, during the first 20 minutes of the game, including 7-for-11 from beyond the arc. For the evening, Yeshiva only converted 37.3% of their field goal attempts.

Leading the way for the Maccabees was senior forward Gabriel Leifer, who just missed a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds, while dishing out four assists. Sophomore guard Ryan Turell also scored 16 points, and brought down seven boards, while senior guard Simcha Halpert produced nine points. In his first game since the 2017-18 season, senior guard Bar Alluf tallied seven points with a pair of assists.

The Macs got off to a slow start, falling behind 20-13. However, the Blue and White countered with a 9-2 run, highlighted by 3-point field goals from Halpert, Leifer, and Alluf, to tie the game, 22-22, with 9:09 left in the first half. The Tigers managed to shift momentum back into their favor as the home team outscored the Maccabees, 23-7, in the final 8:58 of the half to take a 45-29 advantage into the intermission.

The Tigers' momentum continued into the second half, as they surged to their largest lead of the evening, 64-36, with 12:09 left to play. However, the Maccabees would not go down without a fight as YU scored 12 straight points to shrink the opposition's lead to 16 (64-48), with 5:58 remaining in regulation time. The highlights in Yeshiva's rally was a layup by Turell and a 3-point basket courtesy of Alluf.

The home team responded by scoring six of the game's next 10 points to extend its lead to 70-52 with 4:07 left to play. Yeshiva finished the game strong, outscoring Occidental 8-2 in the final 3:52, but it would not be enough as the Tigers went on to earn the season-opening victory.

For Occidental, four players scored in double-figures, including a game-high 22 points from junior guard Jacob Adler, who also added six assists.

It will be a quick turnaround for the Maccabees as they will battle the Beavers of Caltech, at Braun Gymnasium, on Sunday afternoon. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.