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Bulldogs Host Mid Major Power Monmouth

Azar Swain
Azar Swain

Final Chance To See Yale At Home In 2017

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Final exams are over but the Bulldogs have one more test before they can head home for a short holiday break. Yale hosts Monmouth on Friday night at 7 p.m. at the John J. Lee Amphitheater inside Payne Whitney Gym. The Ivy League Network has the video with John Ryan on the play-by-play and James Badas providing analysis.

There are a number of holiday promotions for the game, including:

  • First 100 fans receive Yale holiday ornament
  • First 100 fans receive free hot chocolate, cookies
  • Pictures with Santa
  • Holiday craft table
  • Raffle to win a $50 Yale Athletics Ticket Office Gift Certificate
  • Toy drive to support YNHH Auxiliary Toy Closet Program (bring a toy, get a ticket).

Yale (6-7) is playing its only game in the friendly confines of Lee Amphitheater in the month of December and its first game in the historic arena since an 84-67 victory over Bryant on Nov. 29.

More importantly, the Bulldogs are looking to build momentum as they approach the Jan. 12 Ivy League opener vs. Brown. A young Yale squad has overcome a number of injuries – four players have yet to play in a game - and a busy start – the team played 13 games and travelled nearly 10,000 miles in the first month – to make considerable progress since early November.

The Bulldogs have played a good mix of schools from power conferences (Creighton, Wisconsin, TCU, St. Bonaventure) and top mid majors (Vermont, Lehigh, Iona, Delaware, Albany). Yale's seven losses have come to teams that have a combined 56-23 (.709) overall record, including two (Creighton and TCU) that are ranked in the top-25 this week. Monmouth will provide another challenge. The Hawks posted a 55-15 record in the last two seasons, including wins over Memphis, Notre Dame and UCLA.

An efficient offense has spearheaded the early season success. The Bulldogs lead the Ivy League in field goal percentage (.476) and assists per game (18.2). Yale's 237 total assists are the fourth most in the nation.

The Bulldogs have three players – Miye Oni (16.0 ppg.), Alex Copeland (12.6 ppg.) and Blake Reynolds (11.5 ppg) – averaging double figures in scoring. In addition, Paul Atkinson is the league's most accurate shooter at .672. In his last six games, Atkinson is shooting 73.3 percent (22-of-30) from the field. He hasn't missed since the game at Lehigh on Dec. 6.

Yale's next home game is the Ivy League opener vs. Brown on Jan. 12. The Bulldogs will make back-to-back trips to Georgia following the short Christmas break. They play at Kennesaw State on Dec. 30 and are at Georgia Tech on Jan. 6.

HISTORY LESSONS

Yale and Monmouth are playing for the first time. The Bulldogs are playing their second straight game against a MAAC opponent. They dropped an 83-67 decision at Iona on Dec. 12. Prior to this season, Yale hadn't played a school from the MAAC since the 2015-16 opener, a 70-57 win over Fairfield.

SCOUTING MONMOUTH

The Hawks (3-8) have been involved in a number of close games, including an epic four-overtime 101-96 loss to Penn on Nov. 25. Monmouth has played two games decided by one point, a 79-78 victory over Bucknell and an 85-84 loss to Hofstra. In addition, the Hawks suffered an 84-81 single overtime loss to UConn. Yale is the third Ivy League opponent for Monmouth, which in addition to the loss to Penn also fell to Princeton, 69-58 on Dec. 12. Micah Seaborn (15.9 ppg.) and Deion Hammond (10.7 ppg.) are the two Hawks averaging double figures in scoring. Eight different players have made at least one start. Diago Quinn is the only player to start all 11 games.

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