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December 9, 2021 1:12 pm
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Yeshiva University Basketball Now Top-Ranked DIII College Team in US, With Record Winning Streak at 47

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Yeshiva University High School in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. Photo: Screenshot.

The basketball team at Yeshiva University in New York City is the top-ranked NCAA Division 3 men’s basketball team in the country, for the first time in the history of the Orthodox Jewish school — and boasts the longest winning streak in all of college basketball.

The Maccabees remain undefeated and have won 47 consecutive games dating back to 2019. The team’s latest win took place on Monday in a matchup against Brooklyn College, 94-48, and their 46th victory happened Saturday night in a 2021 Skyline Basketball Conference matchup over SUNY Old Westbury, 105-77. The Maccabees remain undefeated at 7-0 in conference play.

The NCAA’s Division 3 features typically smaller colleges, and mostly private institutions, while the Skyline Basketball Conference is open to schools in the New York metropolitan area.

“Everything is not just for us, you know, we are playing for a community, and that’s the Jewish community, no matter if they are religious,” Maccabees player Ofek Reef told local NY1 news. “It’s the whole faith of Judaism, so winning a national championship for us would be very important and cement ourselves as one of the greatest Jewish teams ever to play.”

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The Maccabees beat Farmingdale State College by a score of 80-66 on Dec. 1 and earlier took home a win against Manhattanville College 78-56 on Nov. 28, during which their shooting guard Ryan Turell scored 51 points, marking a Yeshiva University record.

Turrell, a 22-year-old Yeshiva University senior, told NY1 that the team’s success is “cool and all” but “at the end of the day, our goal is to win a national championship, and so we have to stay focused and stay humble, you know, you either are humbled or you get humbled.”

Turell was awarded on Monday another Skyline Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week award for the second week in a row, and the third time this season. He also  recently earned a national NCAA Division 3 Player of the Week award, recognizing his 21 point line against Farmingdale, and his 28 point and 12 rebound effort versus Old Westbury. The team’s forward Gabriel Leifer also became the first Maccabees player to eclipse 500 career assists during the team’s recent winning streak.

The Maccabees will go up against Washington College on Thursday night.

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