First-Place Tigers In Town Friday, Rare Sunday Date With Penn
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale won't have to wait long for the opportunity to start a new home winning streak. The Bulldogs are back in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater in Payne Whitney Gym this weekend, hosting Princeton on Friday at 8 p.m. in the second game of a doubleheader with the Yale women and Penn in a rare Sunday matinee at 1 p.m. Both games can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network. ESPN3 also has the video on Friday, while Sunday's game will be syndicated by the American Sports Network. It will be available in the New Haven area on NESN+ and SNY. Click here for a complete list of the networks that will air the game. In addition, Friday's game is the Westwood One Radio national game of the week with Scott Graham and Clark Kellogg on the call. The broadcast airs on Sirius XM channel 81 in addition to a number of radio stations across the nation.
Yale's 22-game home winning streak, the fifth longest in the nation at the time, came to an end last Saturday in a hard-fought, back-and-forth 75-67 loss to Harvard. The game featured eight ties and 12 lead changes. The Bulldogs had an uncharacteristic off night from downtown, connecting on just 3-of-16 shots from three-point range. Alex Copeland put on a show for the sellout crowd at Lee, scoring a team-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting.
Sam Downey also had a big game. He was 6-of-7 from the field en route to scoring 15 points. In addition, he grabbed 14 rebounds to post his third double-double of the season. Over the last six games, Downey is shooting 74 percent (37-of-50) from the field and averaging 14.2 points. He is second in the Ivy League in field goal percentage (.569) and rebounding (6.7 rpg.).
The Bulldogs also feature two of the top freshmen in the league. Miye Oni, a five-time Rookie of the Week selection, is 10th in scoring (12.7 ppg.) and fifth in rebounding (6.6 rpg.). Jordan Bruner is the league's top shot blocker (2.7 per game) and is third in field goal percentage (.537) and eighth in rebounding (6.2 rpg.).
James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs, hasn't had two freshmen play such large roles since Edwin Draughan and Alex Gamboa helped Yale to a share of the 2001-02 Ivy title.
Yale (14-7, 6-2 Ivy) enters the weekend tied with Harvard for second place, two games behind first-place Princeton (8-0). The Bulldogs and Crimson are two games ahead of Columbia (4-4). The top four finishers in the regular season qualify for the inaugural Ivy League Tournament in March.
Yale continues to lead the league in field goal percentage (.479), three-point field goal percentage defense (.314), rebounding margin (+3.9), offensive rebounds (10.2 per game) and assists (16.3 per game).
Nationally, Yale is tied with Princeton for the fewest fouls committed (348). The Bulldogs are also 34th in assists per game and 36th in three-point field goal percentage defense.
Yale has won the last five meetings with Princeton at Lee Amphitheater. Four of the five were decided by five points or less, including a 66-65 overtime victory in 2014. The Bulldogs will be looking to avenge a 66-58 loss to the Tigers back on Jan. 14. Yale was without senior captain Anthony Dallier, who missed the game due to a stomach virus. The Bulldogs had a 54-53 lead with three minutes remaining before Princeton ran off 11 straight points to seize control. Yale and Princeton have met at least once every year since 1902, which ties the series with Yale-Columbia as the oldest continuous series in Division I. Overall, Princeton leads the series 147-87.
The Bulldogs have won five straight games at home and nine straight overall against Penn. Earlier this season at the Palestra, Miye Oni scored all 18 of his points in the second half as Yale broke open a close game on its way to a 68-60 victory. The Bulldogs limited the Quakers to 35 percent shooting from the field and held them to 28 points in the second half. The first meeting between the teams came in 1897, a 32-10 Yale victory in New Haven which was one of the first games played with five players on each side. Penn leads the all-time series 146-79.
The Tigers (15-6, 8-0 Ivy) are off to their best league start since 2011. Princeton has won 11 straight games overall, its longest winning streak since 1998-99. The Tigers' last victory at Lee Amphitheater came over Harvard on a Douglas Davis buzzer beater in an Ivy playoff game in 2012. Steven Cook (13.6 ppg.) leads four players scoring in double figures. Devin Cannady (12.6 ppg.), Spencer Weisz (11.5 ppg.) and Myles Stephens (11.0 ppg.) are the others. The Tigers average just 10.4 turnovers per game, which has them eighth in the nation.
The Quakers, who play at Brown on Friday, are coming off a home weekend sweep of Columbia and Cornell. Freshman AJ Brodeur is sixth in the league in scoring (14.3 ppg.) and third in rebounding (6.7 rpg.). Matt Howard (11.8 ppg.) also averages double figures in scoring. Penn (9-12, 2-6 Ivy) has attempted 518 three-pointers, the third most in the league. The Quakers are holding their opponents to .416 shooting from the field.
Over the last three seasons, the Bulldogs have a 30-6 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 147 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' 147 Ivy coaching victories are third all-time in league history, trailing only Princeton's Pete Carril and Penn's Fran Dunphy. In addition, Jones' 268 overall wins are the third most by a coach in Ivy history.
HOME SWEET HOME
Yale had its 22-game home winning streak, which at the time was the fifth longest in the nation, ended by Harvard on Feb. 11. Over the last five seasons, the Bulldogs are 48-12 in the friendly confines of Lee Amphitheater. Yale 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity