Start Of Busy Home Stretch For Yale
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale spent the majority of the first three weeks of the season traveling the nation. Five of the first six games were away from home, including trips to Washington, Virginia and Pittsburgh. Now the Bulldogs will get to spend more time in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater over the next two weeks. Three of their next four games are at home starting with Saturday's matinee with Albany. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m., and video will be available from the Ivy League Digital Network and the Yale Athletics Facebook page as part of ILDN Facebook Live week.
The Bulldogs (2-4) have won their last 15 games at Lee Amphitheater dating back to the 2014-15 season. In this year's home opener on Nov. 17, sophomore Alex Copeland scored a career-high 20 points as Yale won an 89-81 overtime thriller with Patriot League preseason favorite Lehigh.
Copeland is one of several youngsters contributing for the Bulldogs. Seven of the nine players that saw action in Wednesday's game at Bryant were either freshmen or sophomores. Freshman Miye Oni has been named the Ivy League's Rookie of the Week in each of the first three weeks of the season. He is second on the team in scoring 13.5 ppg. and is the team-leader in rebounding at 8.3 rpg., which is second in the league. Sophomores Blake Reynolds (12.5 ppg.) and Trey Phills, who had a career-high five assists on Wednesday, also have each started the first six games.
In addition, the Bulldogs have been getting strong play from seniors Sam Downey and Anthony Dallier. Downey is sixth in the league in scoring at 14.8 ppg. and is shooting 50 percent from the field. Dallier leads the team with 28 assists, and is third in the league at 4.7 assists per game.
As a team Yale is averaging 16.7 assists, which is tops in the league.
James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs, is a 1986 Albany graduate. Jones also was an assistant coach for the Great Danes for five seasons. He played for and coached with the legendary Dr. Richard Sauers, one of only a handful of collegiate coaches to win more than 700 games.
Yale won't play a game outside the state of Connecticut until a trip to Temple on Dec. 22. The Bulldogs are at Sacred Heart next Thursday and then have home games with Delaware on Dec. 11 and Central Connecticut on Dec. 13 before taking a break for exams.
Yale and Albany are playing for the eighth time, and the Great Danes lead the series 5-2, including victories in each of the last three meetings. Albany handed the Bulldogs one of their only seven losses last year, winning 88-54 in New York. Yale's last win over the Great Danes came in 2010 (74-53), and the first meeting between the teams was in 2000. The Bulldogs are 2-1 in Lee Amphitheater against Albany.
The Great Danes (4-3) are coming off a 55-49 home loss to Holy Cross on Wednesday. Albany has wins over Penn State, Siena and Brown on its resume. David Nichols leads the team in scoring at 17.9 ppg. Joe Cremo averages 16.1 points. Cremo was the America East rookie and sixth man of the year last winter and is team's leading returning scorer. The Great Danes are outrebounding their opponents by more than 10 per game. Albany has won 24 games in each of the last two seasons and earned a berth in the postseason College Basketball Invitational last year after playing in the NCAA Tournament in 2015. The Great Danes were picked third in the America East preseason poll.
Report filed by Tim Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity