The NYU men’s basketball team holds the title of NYU Tip-Off Tournament champion after winning the season-opener against the SUNY Geneseo Blue Knights and the final match against the John Jay College Bloodhounds. The Tip-Off Tournament was held in Coles Sports Center during the weekend of Nov. 17 to 18.
The Violets’ first game of the season was against State University of New York at Geneseo. NYU started strong and never trailed against the Blue Knights, winning the game 84-74.
SUNY Geneso came as close as five points to matching NYU with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, but NYU thwarted any chance of a comeback by netting eight consecutive points, including two 3-pointers.
Four players scored in the double figures, allowing NYU to stay on top throughout the game. Junior captain guard Ryan Tana scored a career-high 20 points with eight out of 11 shooting and 80 percent from the 3-point range. He aided the team with three assists and three steals, as well.
Senior captain forward Carl Yaffe was strong on offense and defense, grabbing 11 rebounds and scoring 15 points with a 60 percent successful shooting rate. Senior center Devin Karch and captain guard Kyle Stockmal also scored in the double digits.
Despite having 24 combined assists, the Violets also gave up 20 turnovers while Geneseo had only 14 turnovers. Tana and Stockmal were each responsible for five of these turnovers.
NYU went on to face the Bloodhounds in the tournament finals the next day, winning 67-65.
“This was a great start to the season for us,” Yaffe said. “We knew we would get production from our returners, but our freshmen did a great job of stepping up and filling needed roles for us this weekend.”
Yaffe led the team with 16 points, nine rebounds and three assists. During the game, Yaffe scored his 1,000th career point, becoming only the 28th player in NYU basketball history to reach that mark. He was also named the Tournament MVP.
“Becoming a member of the 1,000 point club at NYU is a dream come true,” Yaffe said. “I never would have made it to where I am today if it wasn’t for all the support I have received from my family, coaches and teammates throughout the past four years.”
Stockmal and Tana were also given All-Tournament team honors. Stockmal had a total of 17 points, six assists and five rebounds, while Tana totaled 10 points, four boards and three blocks.
The game against the Bloodhounds was not an easy one, with John Jay coming within two points (62-60) with 2:55 left. The Violets sealed the win in the final minutes with three points from Tana and two from Stockmal bringing the final score to 67-65.
“There’s still a lot to work on, so we’ll be focusing on getting better every day in practice to prepare for our next tournament this weekend,” Stockmal said. “But in the end, there’s a lot to build on, and we’re very excited what the season holds for us.”
NYU had a very successful season last year, reaching the National College Athletic Association Division III Tournament for the first time in 15 years when they finished their season 21-6. There are hopes that the Violets will see even more success this year with four returning starters. The Violets have started off this season 2-0.
The Violets will return to the court for the Hamilton Thanksgiving Tournament in Clinton, N.Y., against Utica College on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 5 p.m.
Additional reporting by Mary Jane Dumankaya. A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 19 print edition. Francisco Navas is a staff writer. Email him at [email protected]