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Final Regular Season Road Trip Takes Bulldogs To Empire State

Noah Yates (Steve Musco photo)
Noah Yates (Steve Musco photo)

Yale Entering Home Stretch Of Ivy Regular Season

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Bulldogs have spent a good deal of time away from home this season, traveling to all corners of the country during non-conference play. Perhaps it's only fitting then that the final road trip of the regular season is the longest of the Ivy season. Yale heads to Ithaca, New York, to meet Cornell on Friday at 7 p.m. and then has a Saturday night 8:30 p.m. date in New York City at Columbia. Both games air on the Ivy League Network. Friday's game also can be viewed on ESPN3/WatchESPN, while Saturday's game will be televised on SNY.

With two weekends remaining, the Bulldogs sit in sole possession of third place at 5-5, but there is still work to be done to secure one of the four spots in the Ivy League Tournament. Yale is just one game ahead of Brown, Cornell and Columbia. Princeton (3-7) and Dartmouth (2-8) also are still alive. A sweep by the Bulldogs coupled with a sweep by Brown and one loss by Princeton would clinch a spot in the postseason for Yale.

The Bulldogs had their three-game winning streak snapped at Harvard last Saturday. The game marked the return of Makai Mason, who scored eight points in 21 minutes. Mason had missed all of last season and the first 25 games of this year with foot injuries.

Last Friday, Yale played one of its best games of the season, cruising to a 77-65 victory at Dartmouth. The Bulldogs, who made 12 three-pointers and had 21 assists, led by 25 points with five minutes remaining.

In its last four games, Yale has made 43 three-pointers and is shooting 37.7 percent from beyond the arc.

The Bulldogs remain one of the nation's top teams in sharing the ball. Through games of Tuesday night, they were 21st in assists per game (17.0).

Yale also leads the Ivy League in field goal percentage at .463 and has a league-best 170 steals.

Miye Oni, who is among the league leaders in most categories, tops the Bulldogs in scoring at 14.8 ppg. Alex Copeland (11.7 ppg) and Blake Reynolds (10.4 ppg.) also average double figures in scoring.

Reynolds is coming off a strong weekend. He was named to the Ivy Honor Roll after scoring 17 points in the win at Dartmouth and 11 vs. Harvard.

Paul Atkinson, who is shooting 80 percent (12-of-15) from the field over the last four games, leads the league in field goal percentage (.693).

The Bulldogs close out the regular season by hosting Penn and Princeton Mar. 2-3.

HISTORY LESSONS

Yale is looking to sweep the season series from Cornell for the fifth straight year. Two weeks ago at Lee Amphitheater, four players scored in double figures to lead the Bulldogs to a 74-65 victory over the Big Red. Yale's last trip to Ithaca was memorable. It took two days for the Bulldogs to earn a 78-71 win. Play was suspended with 18:31 left in the first half and Yale leading 2-0 after Newman Arena lost power for the second time. The start had been delayed 1 hour, 50 minutes due to the first outage. The game was completed the next day. The Bulldogs have won 10 straight over Cornell. Yale leads the all-time series 113-110.

Yale has won four straight and seven of its last nine games at Levien Gym. Overall, the Bulldogs are 15-3 in their last 18 games with the Lions, including an 88-84 victory at Lee Amphitheater two weeks ago. Columbia, though, leads the all-time series 125-109. The first meeting between the teams was Jan. 18, 1902, a 48-3 Yale win.

The Bulldogs have swept the Cornell-Columbia road trip in each of the last four years.

SCOUTING CORNELL

The Big Red (10-13, 4-6 Ivy) feature one of the top scoring duos in the league in Matt Morgan (22.7 ppg.) and Stone Gettings (17.3 ppg.). Morgan is ninth in the nation in scoring. He has reached double figures in scoring in a school-record 46 consecutive games. Last weekend, Morgan became the third Cornellian to reach 1,500 career points — doing so in 77 games, 15 games fewer than Ryan Wittman '10, the school's all-time leading scorer. Cornell, which averages 75.7 ppg.), is 7-3 at Newman Arena this season.

SCOUTING COLUMBIA

The Lions (7-16, 4-6 Ivy) play Brown on Friday. Columbia is coming off an 85-60 thrashing of Princeton last Saturday. Mike Smith (17.1 ppg.) leads the team in scoring. Quinton Adlesh (12.0 ppg.) and Lukas Meisner (11.9 ppg.) also average double figures in scoring. Meisner averages 7.5 rebounds, which leads the Ivy league. The Lions are 4-1 at Levien Gym in Ivy play.

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