Oni Scores 19 Points To Pace Offense
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A night after scoring 88 points, Yale relied more on its defense to earn an important victory. The Bulldogs limited high-powered Cornell to 43 percent shooting from the field in a much-needed 74-65 victory over the Big Red before a nice Youth Day crowd at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
And the leader was Trey Phills. Phills was matched up with Matt Morgan, who entered the weekend as the eighth-leading scorer in the nation. Phills, though, held him to 13 points, nearly 10 below his season average. Morgan was just 5-of-15 from the field and 0-for-4 from three-point range.
"Trey locked him up," said Miye Oni, who paced the Bulldogs' offense with 19 points.
Phills has known Morgan for a long time. The two both grew up in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area.
"I watched a lot of film on his tendencies and tried to make sure he didn't get back-door cuts." Phills told the Ivy League Network after the game. "He loves to do that."
Phills' work earned high praise from James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs.
"[Trey] smothered him," Jones said. "He was locked in and he knows what his job is. Matt Morgan is one of the best scorers in the country."
And oh by the way, Phills was pretty good on the offensive end as well. He contributed 10 points and two assists in 26 minutes. Phills was one of four Bulldogs in double figures, joining Oni, Azar Swain (11 points) and Paul Atkinson (10 points).
Yale once again moved the ball well, finishing with 21 assists on 25 field goals. Swain was one of the beneficiaries. He was 4-of-6 from the field and 3-of-5 from three-point range.
"My teammates really opened up opportunities for me. A lot of my baskets were off assists," he said. "Our preparation throughout the week was on spacing and sharing the ball."
The victory completed a weekend sweep for the Bulldogs, who knocked off Columbia 88-84 on Friday.
Yale entered the weekend tied for sixth place but now sit tied with Brown for third.
"We're not really focused on that," Swain said. "We're just trying to get better every day."
The Bulldogs (11-13, 4-4 Ivy) were in control for most of the game. Yale had a 14-point lead, 30-16, after Swain's three-pointer with 6:49 left in the first half. The Bulldogs, though, didn't score the rest of the half, and the Big Red was within 30-26 at the intermission.
Cornell (9-12, 3-5 Ivy) cut the deficit to one, 35-34, early in the second half, but Yale responded with a 13-4 run, capped by another Swain three-pointer.
The Big Red made one last comeback, cutting the deficit to four with 3:57 left, but Oni and Alex Copeland answered with back-to-back three-pointers and Yale coasted the rest of the way.
Oni had another strong all-around game. He followed up his 17-point, seven-rebound, six-assist performance vs. Columbia with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists.
"I put in a lot of extra work this week," he said. "I'm trying to diversify my game."
Jones said the style of game was a factor in Oni and the team's success.
"It was a fast-paced game. We were able to get out in transition a lot, which suits us well. Miye was awesome at finding guys."
NOTES: Yale's bench outscored Cornell's reserves 25-4. In addition to Swain, Noah Yates (eight points) and Eric Monroe (six points) made solid contributions… The Bulldogs have now won 10 straight games over Cornell… Yale swept the Columbia-Cornell home weekend for the third straight year… Following the game, the Yale players signed autographs for the numerous young fans in attendance… Cornell freshman Jimmy Boeheim is the son of long-time Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim… The Bulldogs now play their next four games on the road, starting Friday at Dartmouth. The Big Green knocked off Princeton on Saturday. Tip is slated for 7 p.m.
Report filed by Tim Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity