The Mount Drops Conference Opener at Yeshiva

NEW YORK – Sophomore Jayden Figueroa poured in a career-high 26 points and Jayden Racca scored a season-high 10 points, but it was not enough on Saturday night as the Mount Saint Mary College Men’s Basketball team suffered a 90-78 road loss at Yeshiva in its Skyline Conference opener.

Saturday’s loss drops Mount Saint Mary to 2-6 overall on the season and to 0-1 in conference play, while the Maccabees improve their overall record to 6-4 and their conference standing to 4-1.

First Half
The Knights came out firing in the opening 20 minutes, scoring 41 points and shooting better than 51-percent from the field prior to the intermission.

The Maccabees built an early 9-4 advantage on an Oren Betesh triple inside the first five minutes of play, but the Knights quickly responded with the next five points to grab a 10-9 advantage.

The Mount would fall behind 23-22 on another Betesh three-pointer, but answered with eight straight points, capped by a Figueroa slam, to grab a 30-23 lead with 8:10 left before the intermission.

Yeshiva battled back with a 12-5 stretch to knot the score at 35-35 on a Zevi Samet three-pointer with 2:32 left in the opening period.

The two sides would trade the lead three times the rest of the half before a pair of Racca free-throws and a Connor Cyran (Garfield, N.J.) bucket gave the Mount a 31-38 lead in the final minute of the period.

Yeshiva got to within 41-39 after 20 minutes on a Matan Zucker free-throw in the final half minute before halftime.

Mount Saint Mary shot a blistering 51.5-percent from the field before halftime and knocked in a pair of three-pointers.

Yeshiva converted at just under 42-percent overall in the half, but kicked in seven triples.

Cyran paced the Knights with 11 first half points.

Betesh led all scorers at the break with 13 points on the strength of a 4-fof-5 effort from behind the arc.

Second Half
Yeshiva continued its hot shooting from distance early in the second half with back-to-back treys from Roy Itcovichi and Betesh knotting the score at 49-49.

The Maccabees went on to use a Gabriel Landau triple with 14:08 left in regulation to grab a 54-51 lead.

Yeshiva held on to the lead until the 10:28 mark when Cyran converted a layup to push the Mount back in front 59-58.

The two sides would trade the lead three times after the Cyran bucket before an 11-3 stretch from the Macs gave them a 72-65 advantage with 6:38 left to play.

Yeshiva’s lead grew to double-figures for the first time when an Itcovichi layup pushed the Macs in front 77-67 with just under six minutes left to play.

The Mount would only be able to inch to within eight points the rest of the way with Yeshiva expanding its lead to a game-high 14 points on a pair of Zamet free-throws with 26 seconds remaining.

Figueroa knocked in a pair from the free-throw line with 15 ticks left to give him a career-high point total and bring the Knights to within the final 12-point deficit.

Mount Saint Mary slipped to 44.8-percent shooting after halftime and struggled from distance, going just 2-for-10 from behind the arc.

Yeshiva shot a red-hot 66.7-percent in the second half, including an 8-for-14 effort from three-point range.

Figueroa went 5-for-8 from the field and converted six free-throws on his way to 17 second half points.

Betesh led three Maccabees in double-figures in the second half with 12 points.

For The Knights
Figueroa reached a new career-high in scoring after going 9-for-15 from the floor with a pair of triples. He closed a big night with six rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Knights.

Cyran scored in double-figures for the fifth straight game, posting 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting. He contributed four rebounds, two assists and two steals on the night.

Racca reached double-figures for the first time this season, scoring 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting.

Chris Yearwood joined Figueroa with a team-high five assists.

Elijah Barnett chipped in eight points, four boards and three steals.

For The Maccabees
Betesh came off the bench to lead a balanced scoring attack with 25 points, going 8-for-11 from the floor and 6-for-8 from three-point range. He added six rebounds and three assists to the winning effort.

Itcovichi scored 22 points on 9-for-14 shooting, closing a double-double with a game-high 14 rebounds.

Samet tallied 15 points and handed out four assists.

Zucker finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Dothan Bardichev scored 10 points and led all players with six assists.

The Knights play host to Sarah Lawrence on Wednesday.

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