By Matt Noonan
A late start to the opening day of the 2020 NCAA D-III Men’s Basketball Tournament didn’t seem to faze Yeshiva University men’s basketball team, which captured its first-ever postseason contest with a 102-78 victory over WPI.
Friday’s contest between the Engineers and Maccabees was delayed by eighty minutes and did not include spectators as the hosts Johns Hopkins University announced last night in a press release that no fans would be allowed in the gymnasium due to confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland. The statement also noted the university elected to follow the guidelines of the CDC for large gatherings.
Ryan Turell led all players with 41 points on 13 of 16 shooting to go with five rebounds and two assists while Simcha Halpert added 20 points, two assists, and one block.
Yeshiva led WPI, 51-30, at the break before pushing ahead for good with a 72-51 advantage around the midway point of the second half.
WPI attempted to trim the deficit but struggled to contain both Turrell and Halpert, along with Eitan Halpert, who finished the contest with 14 points, eight assists, and four rebounds.
John Lowther led the Engineers with 18 points on 8 of 14 shooting while tallying five rebounds, two assists, and one block. Jake Wisniewski, who was playing in his final game with WPI, netted 12 points on four of nine shooting to go with five rebounds, three assists, and one steal.
WPI advanced to the NCAA Tournament as an at-large bid after losing to Coast Guard Academy in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship. The Engineers registered 20 wins in 28 contests this season, which is the most any WPI team has recorded since their 2015-16 campaign. Additionally, today’s NCAA Tournament game was WPI’s first since securing an at-large bid to the ‘big dance’ in 2016.
With the win, Yeshiva has now won 28 consecutive contests dating back to last November and will play the winner
The Maccabees will play the winner of Johns Hopkins-Penn State Harrisburg tomorrow (March 7th).