#1 Farmingdale State - 81, #2 Yeshiva - 75
Farmingdale, N.Y. - Top-seeded Farmingdale State earned an 81-75 victory over #2 Yeshiva this afternoon in the Skyline Finals to claim the conference's automatic bid into the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament. FSC senior guard Matthew Graham (Valley Stream, N.Y.) finished the day with a team-high 25 points and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Championship.
Leading 34-32 at the start of the second half, the Rams (20-7) opened with back-to-back Jermaine Fraser (Valley Stream, N.Y.) layups and a 3 by Graham to extend the advantage to 41-32. The Maccabees (19-8) quickly responded with a 9-0 run to even the score at 41-41 with 14:11 left on the clock.
Tied 43-43 with 13:42 remaining, Farmingdale State used layups by both senior forward George Riefenstahl (Bayport, N.Y.) and junior forward Troy Feeney (Hewlett, N.Y.) to go back out in front by four. After a basket by Daniel Katz (Baltimore, Md.) and a 3-pointer from Simcha Halpert (Los Angeles, Calif.) on the next two Yeshiva trips down the floor, FSC's Ali Mableton (Brentwood, N.Y.) hit a jumper to give the Rams a one-point edge, 49-48.
With 8:07 left to play and the Maccabees down 53-51, Halpert connected on a 3, was fouled and made the free-throw to give Yeshiva a two-point lead. Riefenstahl hit a layup and free-throw on the next Farmingdale State possession before junior guard Chaz Platt (Jamaica, N.Y.) hit a pair at the line and Graham knocked down a 3 to give the Rams a 61-55 advantage with 6:35 remaining.
FSC held a 65-60 lead and used two free-throws by Fraser and a Mableton layup to go out in front by nine. Yeshiva cut the deficit to five, 71-66, with 2:07 left to play until four straight free-throws by Mableton and Platt brought the Rams lead back to nine.
Over the final 1:11 of the game, Farmingdale State led by at least five points en route to the 81-75 victory.
Graham scored his 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting and added seven rebounds and a team-high five assists, while Riefenstahl recorded a double-double on 17 points and 10 boards. Mableton and Fraser recorded 14 and 12 points, respectively, in the win for Farmingdale State.
The Maccabees were led by junior forward Gabriel Leifer (Lawrence, N.Y.) who poured in a game-high 27 points (12-of-20 FG), had 15 rebounds and eight assists.
Farmingdale State last punched a ticket into the NCAA Tournament in 2016-17 after defeating Sage in the Skyline Conference Finals. The Rams squared off against #6 Middlebury in the First Round of the NCAA's and fell, 84-75.
The Rams now await word of their opponent in the First Round of the NCAA Tournamnent which will be announced on Monday, February 25th at 12:30 p.m. You can follow the live selection show at NCAA.com.