Battle Of Two Of New England's Most Successful Programs
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale has cruised to easy victories in its first two games in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater, winning by an average margin of 48.5 points. Expect a closer game when America East favorite and 2017 NCAA Tournament participant Vermont comes to town on Saturday. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m., and the Ivy League Network and ESPN3 have the video.
Yale and Vermont have been two of the most successful programs in New England in recent years. Over the last 4+ years, the Bulldogs have 85 victories, captured two Ivy League titles and won the first NCAA Tournament game in school history – over Baylor in 2016. The Catamounts have been to the post season in each of the last six years, and last season were a perfect 16-0 in America East play, won the conference's postseason tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulldogs have won two straight games, including an 87-73 victory at Alcorn State on Wednesday. Miye Oni led four players in double figures with 16 points. In his last three games, Oni is averaging 17.0 points. He has received plenty of support. Yale has seven players averaging at least 8.7 points per game, including Blake Reynolds, who averages 10.7 ppg.
The Bulldogs have gotten solid play from their bench. The reserves accounted for 33 points in Wednesday's win over Alcorn State. First year Azar Swain is emerging as an offensive spark early in the season. He had 11 points against Alcorn State, including making three important three-pointers. In the last three games, Swain is 14-of-26 from the field, including 7-of-13 from three-point range, and averaging 14.0 points.
As a team, Yale is averaging 88 points while shooting 48.8 percent from the field in its last four games.
The Vermont game is the start of a busy week for the Bulldogs, who play at Delaware on Monday, host Bryant on Wednesday and then are at TCU next Saturday.
Yale assistant coach Tobe Carberry is a 2000 graduate of Vermont where he enjoyed a standout career for the Catamounts. He ranks 13th on the all-time scoring list with 1,235 points and ranked in the top 10 in games played, field goals, assists, steals and blocked shots at the conclusion of his career.
Yale and Vermont have played every year since 2007, and there have been a couple that have gone down to the wire. Last year in Burlington, Ernie Duncan's driving layup in traffic with one second left lifted the Catamounts to a 67-65 victory. In 2014, Matt Townsend's jumper from the top of the key with five seconds left gave the Bulldogs a 57-56 victory. Yale also won the last meeting in New Haven, 72-54 in 2015. Vermont leads the all-time series 15-13. The first meeting between the teams came in 1924.
The Catamounts (4-1) have won four straight since opening the season with a 73-69 loss at Kentucky. UVM won the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase, beating Bradley, Coastal Carolina and Northern Kentucky. The Catamounts are coming off a 90-54 victory over Maine-Fort Kent on Wednesday night. Five players average double figures in scoring, led by Trae Bell-Haynes (13.4 ppg.). Anthony Lamb (12.6 ppg.), Drew Urquhart (10.2 ppg.), Ernie Duncan (10.0 ppg. and Payton Henson (10.0 ppg.) are the others. The Catamounts finished 29-6 last season, advancing to the NCAA Tournament where they fell to Purdue in the opening round.
Report filed by Tim Bennett (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity