Oni’s Big Second Half Lifts Yale Over Penn

Miye Oni (Andy Lewis photo)
Miye Oni (Andy Lewis photo)

Bulldogs Open Ivy Play With 68-60 Victory Over Quakers

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Yale is off and running in Ivy League play. Miye Oni scored all 18 of his points in the second half as the Bulldogs broke open a close game en route to a 68-60 victory over Penn at the Palestra.

Oni was one of four players to score in double figures. Alex Copeland had 12 points, while Blake Reynolds and Anthony Dallier each added 11.

Yale (9-5) won its Ivy League opener for the fourth straight year.

"Getting off on the right foot is really important," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs.

Yale did it with defense, limiting the Quakers to 35 percent shooting from the field and holding them to 28 points in the second half.

"We did a great job rotating on defense, and we were in the right place at the right time for most of the game," Jones said. "We had great energy closing out and did a good job being physical."

The Bulldogs have now beaten Penn nine straight times, including the last five meetings at the Palestra. Yale hopes to return to the historic building for the first Ivy League Tournament in March.

The loss dropped Penn to 6-7 overall and 0-2 in Ivy play. AJ Brodeur and Jackson Donahue led the Quakers with 13 points apiece.

Yale had only a 34-32 lead at halftime before Oni took over. He made all five of his field goals, including three 3-pointers, and had six rebounds over the final 20 minutes.

"The coaches just told me to be aggressive," said Oni, who didn't start for the first time this season after missing a couple of days of practice this week with an injury. "I just tried to do what I normally do, and it worked out."

The Bulldogs scored the first seven points of the second half to seize control. Penn closed to within six a few minutes later, but Yale had the lead at 15, 57-42, after a Reynolds layup with 7:39 left.

The dagger was an Oni four-point play that made it 66-50 with 3:40 remaining.

"My teammates do a good job of finding me," Oni said. "Most of my shots come in the flow of our offense."

Dallier led the way with four of Yale's 13 assists.

The Bulldogs also held Brodeur, Penn's leading scorer, in check. He was just 5-of-15 from the field.

"We did a good job maintaining contact with him," Jones said.

Junior Noah Yates, who joined the team this year after playing football at Yale, saw his most meaningful minutes of the season. He came off the bench and immediately drained a 3-pointer and also had an assist in 11 minutes

"Noah's been doing an outstanding job in practice," Jones said. "It was nice to see him benefit from his hard work."

NOTES: Yale outrebounded Penn 42-31… Oni had nine boards, and Sam Downey and Jordan Bruner each grabbed seven. The Bulldogs were 8-of-15 from three-point range, while the Quakers were just 7-of-27… Penn committed only one turnover in the first half… With Miami's home loss last night, the Bulldogs now are tied with New Mexico State for the fourth longest home winning streak in the nation. Yale has won 20 straight games at Lee Amphitheater but doesn't play again at home until Jan. 27 vs. Brown… The Bulldogs are at Princeton on Saturday night. Tip is slated for 8 p.m. following the Yale-Princeton women's game which starts at 5:30 p.m. The Ivy League Digital Network and ESPN3 has the video.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (timothy.bennett@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity