Third Straight Road Game
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Bulldogs play the third of three straight road games to open the Ivy League season when they travel to Brown on Friday. Tipoff at the Pizzitola Center is slated for 8 p.m. following the Yale-Brown women's game, which starts at 5:30 p.m. The Ivy League Digital Network and ESPN3 have the video.
Yale (9-6, 1-1 Ivy) split last weekend's trip to Penn and Princeton. 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 win over the Quakers. After leading by only two had at halftime, Yale built a 16-point lead with four minutes left. Saturday's game with Princeton was much closer in the final minutes, but the Tigers used a late 11-0 run on their way to a 66-58 win. The Bulldogs played without senior captain Anthony Dallier, who was sick.
In Brown, Yale will be facing one of the most fast-paced offenses in the Ivy League. The Bears lead the league in scoring (77.3 ppg.) and are coming off an 82-point effort in an 82-70 victory at Penn last Saturday. The Bulldogs' defense has improved greatly over the course of the season. Yale has held six of its last eight opponents to under 40 percent shooting from the field, including both Penn and Princeton last weekend.
Offensively, the Bulldogs may feature the most balanced attack in the league. Five players – Alex Copeland (13.8 ppg.), Oni (12.5 ppg.), Sam Downey (11.5 ppg.), Jordan Bruner (10.9 ppg.) and Blake Reynolds (10.1 ppg.) – average double figures in scoring. Seven players have led the team in scoring at least once, and four players have posted 20-point performances this season. Copeland, who had 21 points vs. Princeton, Oni and Bruner were all named to the Ivy League Honor Roll this week.
Yale leads the Ivy League in three-point field goal percentage (.389), assists (17.0 per game) and offensive rebounds (11.1 per game) and are second in field goal percentage (.462). The Bulldogs are also the top rebounding team in the league (+4.1 margin), which they have been in each of the last five seasons.
Nationally, Yale is third in fewest fouls with 250, 18th in three-point field goal percentage defense (.300) and 28th in assists per game and fewest turnover (194).
Friday is the first of two straight games with Brown. The Bears visit the John J. Lee Amphitheater in Payne Whitney Gym on Jan. 27.
Yale is 7-3 in its last 10 games at the Pizzitola Center, including a 90-66 victory last year. Overall, the Bulldogs have won four straight against Brown, sweeping the season series in each of the last two years. This is the first time since 2005 that the teams won't be playing their Ivy opener against each other. The first Yale-Brown meeting came in 1905, and the Bulldogs own a 105-52 advantage in the all-time series.
The Bears (10-8, 1-1 Ivy) also earned a split in their first Ivy weekend. Brandon Anderson scored a career-high 21 points and Steven Spieth added 20 as Brown knocked off Penn 82-70 one night after the Bears fell 97-66 at Princeton. Spieth is the team's leader in scoring (15.1 ppg), rebounds (6.1), assists (70), steals (27) and free throw percentage (.883). Tavon Blackmon (10.7 ppg.) also averages double figures in scoring and has 67 assists. The Bears, who connected on 24-of-26 free throws vs. Penn, have made more free throws (380) than any Ivy team has attempted. Brown also leads the Ivy League with 146 steals (8.1 per game).
HOME SWEET HOME
Yale has won its last 20 games in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater, which is the fifth longest active home winning streak in the nation through Wednesday night's games. Only Kansas (52), Oregon (36), Akron (26) and New Mexico State (21) have longer home winning streaks. Yale's last home loss came on Feb. 21, 2015, 56-50 to Columbia. The Bulldogs went the entire calendar year of 2016 without losing a home game.
Report filed by Tim Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity