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Strong Second Half Lifts Harvard Over Yale

Sam Downey (photo courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications)
Sam Downey (photo courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications)

Copeland Scores 20, Downey Posts Double-Double For Bulldogs

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Alex Copeland had another big game against Harvard, but it wasn't quite enough to lead the Bulldogs to victory. Bryce Aiken scored 14 of his 22 points in the second half as the Crimson rallied for a 77-64 victory over Yale before a sellout crowd of 2,155 at Lavietes Pavilion.

Copeland finished with 20 points, matching the total he scored in the first meeting between the teams two weeks ago. In two games against Harvard, he is 16-of-25 from the field.

Aiken, though, has been pretty good against the Bulldogs. He had 27 points in the game in New Haven, a 75-67 Harvard victory.

And he had plenty of support on Friday. Seth Towns contributed 18 points and eight rebounds, and Zena Edosomwan had 15 points.

Sam Downey posted another double-double for Yale with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Trey Phills added 13 points and Blake Reynolds scored 10.

The Bulldogs (14-10, 6-5 Ivy) played a very good first half. They outrebounded the Crimson 24-11 in building a 34-31 lead the break.

The second half, though, was a different story. Harvard shot 66.7 percent from the field and held Yale to 35.7 percent.

The Crimson opened the half on a 15-4 run. The Bulldogs closed back within four, but Harvard answered with a 19-8 run.

Yale, though, refused to go away. Phills' three-point play cut the deficit to eight with 2:10 to play, but the Crimson made free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

"We didn't have the same patience and we didn't handle their pressure [in the second half]," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "They were able to get out in transition."

Despite the loss, the Bulldogs still sit in good position on the #PathToThePalestra. Yale sits in third place, one game ahead of Penn and two games in front of Columbia. The top four finishers in the regular season qualify for the inaugural Ivy League Tournament on Mar. 11-12 in Philadelphia.

The Bulldogs play at Dartmouth on Saturday and then close out the regular season by hosting Cornell and Columbia next weekend.


The double-double was the fourth of the season for Downey… The loss snapped Yale's three-game winning streak at Lavietes… The Bulldogs outrebounded Harvard 37-32 in the game but committed 17 turnovers… Yale was just 3-of-14 from three-point range… The three three-pointers still had an impact. As part of the Coaches Vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge, fans can make a pledge for each 3-point shot the Bulldogs make from February 1st – March 4th by visiting Each donation will support the American Cancer Society's research, education and patient programs… The Dartmouth game on Saturday is a 7 p.m. tip. It can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network, ESPN3 or the WatchESPN app.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (, Yale Sports Publicity