Read, Udine lead basketball to 4-0 weekend

NYU Men’s Basketball team plays Arcadia University in the championship game on Sunday November 22nd, 2015.

Michelle Sanders

NYU Men’s Basketball team plays Arcadia University in the championship game on Sunday November 22nd, 2015.

Michael Thompson, Deputy Sports Editor

Determined to remain undefeated, NYU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams defended their home court at the NYU Tip-Off Classic this weekend. The top-ten women’s team beat the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a nail-biter before soundly defeating Springfield College the next day. The men also swept the weekend competition, blowing out Moravian College and sliding by Arcadia University.

The action began with a thrilling battle between the NYU women’s team and MIT. The nationally-ranked Violets led throughout, but MIT kept the game close, narrowing the Violets’ lead to two with 1:27 left in the fourth quarter. However, junior guard Amy Harioka made two clutch free throws and sophomore guard Drew Cabral’s steal helped seal the victory for the Violets. Junior guard Kaitlyn Read, who was named a preseason All-American, was impressed with her team’s resiliency after the game.

“Somehow, we just were a little more aggressive and a little more efficient in our possessions which helped us hold our small lead,” Read said.

Senior forward Megan Dawe, honored before the game for reaching the 1,000-point mark, tied her career-high record in scoring with 28 points on an efficient 9-13 shooting. Read continued her strong start to the season, putting up a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

The women’s team followed up their win on Saturday with a much easier victory against Springfield College. The Violets led by four after the first half before they ratcheted up the intensity in the second half, holding Springfield to 17 points in 20 minutes on 19 percent shooting. Read was the offensive star, posting 22 points and four rebounds.

“We really focused the second half on playing great defense, knowing that that would allow our offense to improve as well,” Dawe said.

Moravian College was no match for the men’s team Saturday, as the Violets dominated in a never-ending scoring barrage. Senior forward Evan Kupferberg led the charge with one of the best performances of his All-American career. He scored 26 points in 31 minutes, shooting a hyper-efficient 13-15. The Violets shot 65 percent — a sizzling 72.4 percent in the second half — and catapulted their 9-point lead after the first half into one as high as 32 points in the second half.

The men’s team closed out the weekend with a narrow victory over Arcadia University. Carried by Ross Udine’s 33-point outing, the Violets led for a majority of the game. Arcadia stormed back in the second half from a 13-point hole, taking an 81-80 lead with under four minutes to go in the game. After falling behind by three, the Violets quickly responded. Udine tied the game with a three-pointer and senior center Costis Gontikas gave the Violets an 85-83 lead with a layup. The game stayed close until the final seconds. Down one point, Arcadia’s John Landro was off with the potential go-ahead bucket, effectively sealing the Violets’ victory.

Gontikas and Kupferberg were both excellent, posting double-doubles and combining for 45 points and 24 rebounds.

The women have one more game before Thanksgiving against Baruch College on Nov. 25. The men are back in action next Sunday against the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts for Alumni Day.

A version of this article appeared in the Nov. 23 print edition. Email Michael Thompson at [email protected].