Four Bulldogs In Double Figures In 88-72 Win
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The new year is off to a strong start for the Bulldogs. Jordan Bruner scored a career-high 25 points to lead four players in double figures as Yale rolled to an 88-72 victory over Hartford at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
The win was the 19th straight at home and the 10th straight over an in-state opponent for the Bulldogs (7-5).
It was another balanced effort that led the way. Miye Oni had 16 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks, Sam Downey added 14 points, Blake Reynolds scored 12, Anthony Dallier contributed nine points and five assists and Alex Copeland had eight points.
The Bulldogs' bench outscored Hartford's reserves 35-6.
Jalen Ross almost single handedly kept the Hawks (5-10) in the game. He finished with 31 points on 10-of-19 shooting. Jason Dunne added 13 points and Jack Hobbs and Hassan Attia each chipped in 11.
Playing for the first time since falling at Temple on Dec. 22, Yale struggled a bit offensively at the start. The Bulldogs shot just 33 percent from the field in the first half, but thanks to strong defense still had a 30-27 lead at the break.
"We were very tentative," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "We had opportunities that we didn't take."
The second half was a different story. Yale was 14-of-21 (66.7 percent) from the field, got to the free throw line 34 times and scored 58 points.
"We got in rhythm," Jones said.
Bruner did most of his damage over the final 20 minutes, scoring 19 of his points while hitting 5-of-6 shots from the field and 8-of-13 free throws.
"I was more aggressive and went to the rim more," he said of his overall performance. "I feel like I'm still not making as many shots as I'd like to."
Added Jones, "Jordan was terrific. He was aggressive, the guys did a good job of getting him the ball, and he was able to take advantage of what the defense gave him."
Hartford closed within one early in the second half, but Yale seized control with a 13-2 run that included back-to-back three-point plays from Bruner.
The Hawks cut the deficit back to six on a Jalen Ross three-pointer, but the Bulldogs scored the next seven points to regain control.
Another Ross three-pointer pulled Hartford within seven with 3:11 left, but a Bruner tip in of a Downey miss with 1:56 remaining was the dagger.
The Bulldogs finished 31-of-41 from the foul line. The 41 attempts were by far their most of the season.
"We haven't done well [getting to the free throw line] all year," Jones said. "We need to make sure that continues going forward."
The 19 consecutive wins at Lee Amphitheater ties the Bulldogs with New Mexico State for the fifth longest active home winning streak in the nation.
Yale goes for No. 20 on Saturday when Mitchell College comes to town for a 2 p.m. start.
NOTES: Oni's double-double was the third of his career. The others came against Lehigh and Pitt… Bruner added eight rebounds to go along with his 25 points as Yale won the battle of the boards 38-32… The Bulldogs had 19 assists on their 25 field goals… The Bulldogs have won five of their last six games… Yale has won eight of its last nine games with Hartford… Trey Phills returned to the starting lineup for the Bulldogs… Saturday's game with Mitchell is the final tune up before the start of Ivy League play. Yale's first league games are at Penn and Princeton on Jan. 13-14.
Report filed by Tim Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity