The NYU men’s basketball team took sweet revenge over UAA rivals Case Western Reserve University on Feb. 9 at Coles Sports and Recreation Center.
Having lost their away match against the Spartans a week earlier, the Violets were hungry for payback and, thanks in part to their defense, they executed their game perfectly.
Neither team took complete control during the first half of the game. Led by CAS senior guard Ryan Tana’s nine points, the Violets kept the first half competitive and exciting, resulting in an astonishing nine lead changes in the first half alone. However, thanks to Tana’s leadership and LSP sophomore forward Evan Kupferberg’s eight points, the Violets held a 37-34 lead heading into halftime.
In the second half, the Violets came out strong as they looked to take control of the game. After a mid-range jumper by Kupferberg with 14 minutes left, the Violets extended their lead to seven points, the largest of the game. The team stayed ahead until the seven-minute mark in the half, when the Spartans threatened to take the lead. But the Violets were not going down that easy.
The final stretch of the game was a nail-biter, featuring four ties and three lead changes. However, a jumper by Tana with 53 seconds remaining, closed the game for the Violets, improving their record to 15-4.
“We knew it was going to be a close battle from the start,” said LS sophomore Evan Kupferberg, who had a team-high 25 points that night. “I thought we had great leadership from our seniors who hit some big shots.”
After the game, many of the players attributed the win to the instructions of the coaches.
“The coaches had a great game plan for us to follow and I think the team followed it well,” Kupferberg said. “It was a great team win and when we have shooters making big shots it just makes it that much easier for the bigs inside.”
The women’s team also took on Case Western at Coles on Sunday afternoon. The team had a much easier time than their male counterparts, defeating the Spartans by a score of 72-56. The Violets led by seven at the half and the visitors never threatened to take control of the game.
CAS senior forward Alexis Doherty led the Violets in scoring with 16 points, while SCPS junior point guard Melissa Peng chipped in five assists in a staggering 37 minutes played.
Balance was certainly key for the Violets.
“I think our team chemistry is what really helps us work well as a whole on the court,” said SCPS freshman guard Amy Harioka regarding the team’s mantra.
As of last week, the women’s team was ranked 23rd in Division III women’s basketball. This ranking should rise after two conference victories this week.
The women’s team returns to the court this Friday for a home conference matchup against the University of Chicago at 6:00 p.m. The men’s team has the same matchup at 8 p.m., directly after the women’s game.
Ferenc Puskas is a staff writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.