One win, one loss for basketball team during Friday games

Jonathan Schifman, Contributing Writer

In the basketball double header against the University of Rochester on Friday, the NYU women’s basketball team, behind a spirited performance from injured sophomore guard Kaitlyn Read, kept their top ten ranking alive after a slow first half. The men did not fare so well, dropping a tightly contested game on Jan. 30.

Fans who attended Violet Nation Giveaway Day at the Coles Sports Center were treated to two exciting basketball games. The eighth-seeded women’s team overcame a rare first half deficit thanks to 20 points from Read, while the 23rd-seeded men’s team suffered a narrow 64-60 loss.

The women’s game took place at 6 p.m. NYU took the lead early in the game, but the two teams went back and forth throughout the entire first half. The score was tied four times before Rochester built up a lead at the break. The Violets struggled to hit their shots and got into foul trouble, allowing Rochester to sink eight free throws in the first half.

NYU head coach Lauren Hall-Gregory said she knew the Violets could play better.

“We have to go out there and be the tougher team,” Hall-Gregory said at halftime. “It isn’t all about the x’s and o’s.”

Hall-Gregory’s pep talk during halftime rallied the team, and NYU came into the second period with determination and confidence. The team went on a 17-5 run, getting to the free throw line 21 times and managing eight steals and a block.

Read, who injured her ankle early in the second half, came back hobbled, but still managed to have a game-high 20 points. Junior forward Megan Dawe and Senior guard Melissa Peng followed with 15 points each. The Violets finished the game strongly, winning by a comfortable 14-point margin.

“Coming into the second half, we came out knowing we’re capable of playing,” Hall-Gregory said. “We just dug in and played great team defense, which gave us great energy on offense.”

The men’s game did not go as well. After a brief intermission, the men’s game tipped off at 8 p.m. The team struggled in the first half, falling behind 12-5 in the first five minutes and finishing the period down 37-29.

NYU could not contain Rochester guard Sam Borst-Smith, who finished the game with 25 points, nine rebounds, two steals, and four assists.

In the second half, the Violets tried to rally. They quickly reduced the lead within the first four minutes, finding themselves down by one at 15:45. The score stayed close throughout the remainder of the game, as the lead alternated between the two teams.

Freshman guard Ross Udine and junior forward Evan Kupferberg led the way in scoring, finishing with 16 and 15 points, respectively. Udine also dished out four assists, while Kupferberg grabbed 12 rebounds.

Still, assistant coach Cal Ramsey believed that NYU’s best players did not contribute as much as usual.

“I don’t think we got enough offensively from our big guys,” Ramsey said. “We didn’t shoot very well tonight and gave up too many second shots.”

Costis Gontikas, a junior center, struggled from the field, missing all of his field goal attempts. He did, however, sink all four of his free throw attempts. The Violets also lost starting junior guard Max Ralby to an injury early in the game. He only played 15 minutes.

Despite this disappointing and narrow defeat, the men’s team wrapped up their weekend on a higher note by upsetting 12th-ranked Emory University by a final score of 96-92.

The women’s team completed their weekend sweep by handily defeating Emory University 74-62 on Sunday.

A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 2 print edition. Email Jonathan Schifman at [email protected]