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Bulldogs Back Home To Host Dartmouth, Harvard

Alex Copeland (dspics.com)
Alex Copeland (dspics.com)

Yale's 21-Game Home Winning Streak On Line

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale hasn't seen much of the John J. Lee Amphitheater so far this Ivy season. That begins to change this weekend when the Bulldogs host the first of two straight home weekends. Dartmouth visits on Friday and Harvard comes to town on Saturday. Tipoff on both nights is slated for 7 p.m., and the Ivy League Digital Network and ESPN3 have the video of each game.

Being away from home hasn't kept Yale (13-6) from being successful. The Bulldogs, who have played five of their six Ivy games on the road, are off to a 5-1 start and have won four straight, including last weekend's sweep of Columbia and Cornell. Not even being forced to spend an extra day on the road could keep Yale down. Saturday's game with the Big Red had to be suspended just 1 minute, 29 seconds in when the power at Newman Arena went out for the second time. The start of the game had been delayed for 1:50 after the initial outage. Played resumed on Sunday, and the Bulldogs went on to a 78-71 victory.

Yale's Ivy success has not come easily. The Bulldogs have trailed in the second half in four of the Ivy wins. Depth and balance have been key factors in the second-half production. In the six Ivy games, seven players are averaging at least 7.7 points. Freshman Miye Oni, who was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the fifth time on Monday, leads the way at 14.5 ppg. James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs, credits the entire roster for the hot Ivy start. He says competitive practices have played a important role in his team's ability to execute down the stretch and win close games.

One player whose offensive production has increased recently is sophomore Trey Phills, who scored a career-high 19 points in Friday's 87-78 win at Columbia. In his last three games, Phills, who is Yale's top defender, has contributed 13.7 ppg., while going 22-of-22 from the foul line. Overall, Phills has made 23 straight free throws dating back to the game at Brown on Jan. 20.

The Bulldogs are 26th nationally in three-point field goal percentage defense (.308). In addition, Yale has committed the fewest fouls (316) in the nation.

The Bulldogs also lead the Ivy League in field goal percentage (.470), rebounding margin (+3.6), offensive rebounds (10.3 per game) and assists (16.7 per game).

Yale has won 21 straight games in the friendly confines of Lee Amphitheater, the fifth longest active streak in the nation through games of Tuesday night.

HISTORY LESSONS

Dartmouth came perhaps the closest to knocking off the Bulldogs during the long home winning streak. Yale needed a Makai Mason jumper with five seconds left in regulation to force overtime in last year's 76-71 victory. Yale outscored the Big Green 13-8 in the extra period to escape with the win. The Bulldogs have won 18 of the last 22 meetings with Dartmouth overall and 15 of the last 16 in New Haven.

Yale has won more games (119) against Harvard than any other opponent, including three of the last four games. Last year, the Bulldogs swept the season series from the Crimson, winning 67-55 in Cambridge and 59-50 in New Haven. Yale leads the all-time series 119-76. The first meeting was in 1901, a 41-16 Yale victory.

SCOUTING DARTMOUTH

The Big Green (4-15, 1-5 Ivy) is coming off a 74-71 victory over Penn last Saturday at Leede Arena. Dartmouth made a season-high 12 three-pointers and got 19 points from Miles Wright and 18 points and 11 rebounds from Evan Boudreaux. Boudreaux, who has 10 double-doubles, was named the Ivy League Player of the Week. He leads the league in rebounding (9.4 rpg.) and is second in scoring (16.5 ppg.). Guilien Smith (11.9 ppg.) and Wright (10.9 ppg.) also average double figures in scoring. David McLaughlin is in his first year as the head coach of the Big Green.

SCOUTING HARVARD

The Crimson (12-7, 4-2 Ivy) is coming off a heartbreaking 57-56 home loss to Princeton last Saturday. Steven Cook's put back of a missed free throw with 6.3 seconds left provided the winning margin. Harvard's roster features 13 freshmen or sophomores.  Three of the Crimson's top five leading scorers are rookies, as Bryce Aiken and Seth Towns rank 1-2 with 13.1 and 10.6 points per game, respectively. The Crimson lead the Ivy League in field goal percentage defense (.400) and blocked shots (103).

IVY SUCCESS

Over the last three seasons, the Bulldogs have a 29-5 record in Ivy League games. In addition, the Bulldogs are in good position to finish with a winning record in league play for the seventh straight season. Yale also is looking to win a third straight Ivy crown for the first time in school history.

JONES YALE'S ALL-TIME WINNINGEST IVY COACH

With three Ivy wins this season, James Jones, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs, is now Yale's all-time leader with 146 Ivy League victories. He began the year tied with Hall of Fame Coach Joe Vancisin, who won 141 league games in his 19 season. Jones' 146 Ivy coaching victories are third all-time in league history, trailing only Princeton's Pete Carril and Penn's Fran Dunphy. In addition, Jones' 267 overall wins are the third most by a coach in Ivy history.

HOME SWEET HOME

Yale has won its last 21 games in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater, which is the fifth longest active home winning streak in the nation through Tuesday night's games. Only Oregon (40), Akron (29) and New Mexico State (23) and Cincinnati (22) 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.

TICKETS TO IVY TOURNAMENT ON SALE

Tickets for the Inaugural Ivy League Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments, March 11-12 at the Palestra in Philadelphia, are currently on sale. The top four men's and women's teams will play for the Ivy League's automatic bids to the NCAA tournaments where the League has won six games over the last seven years.

Tournament books can be purchased at IvyMadness.com/tickets or by calling The Palestra box office at 215-898-615. The tournament book includes tickets to all six games across the two-day event. Prices range from $60-$120.

Single-session tickets, if available, will go on sale at a later date. Individual game tickets will not be available. 

COACHES VS. CANCER THREE-POINT CHALLENGE

Making 3-point shots this basketball season takes on even more meaning this year for Coach James Jones and the Yale men's basketball team. The Bulldogs will square off against teams across the nation to fight cancer as part of the American Cancer Society's Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge.

The Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge allows over 200 college and high school basketball teams nationwide to use their spotlight on the court to raise money and awareness against cancer. Fans can make a pledge for each 3-point shot the Bulldogs make from February 1st – March 4th by visiting https://pledgeit.org/cvc-yale. Each donation will support the American Cancer Society's research, education and patient programs.

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