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Season Ends At Ivy League Tournament

Blake Reynolds (Steve Musco photo)
Blake Reynolds (Steve Musco photo)

No. 3 Yale Falls To No. 2 Penn 80-57

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Another highly successful season ended in frustrating fashion for the Bulldogs at the Ivy League Tournament. Yale, seeded third, had an uncharacteristic off night from the field and dropped an 80-57 decision to No. 2 Penn at the Palestra.

The Quakers (23-8) advance to meet Harvard in the championship game on Sunday at noon. The Crimson knocked off Cornell in the first game of the day.

The Bulldogs, who entered as the league's top shooting team, were just 21-of-64 (32.8 percent) from the field.

"We never got in a good rhythm," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs.

Penn's defense certainly had something to do with that. The Quakers led the league in field goal percentage defense and 3-point field goal percentage defense in the regular season.

Despite the loss, it was still a season to remember for Yale. The Bulldogs overcame injuries to Makai Mason and Jordan Bruner to finish 9-5 in Ivy play, their eighth straight season with a winning record in Ivy games, and have reached the post season tournament in each of its two years of existence.

"It's disappointing, but I'm still proud of our team," said junior Blake Reynolds. "We grew a lot over the course of the year."

Added Jones, "I'm extremely proud of this team and our program. Going forward, we will be better from these experiences."

The future certainly appears bright. Bruner is progressing well from his injury, and Yale's top five scorers will all be back, including All-Ivy selections Miye Oni (first team) and Trey Phills (second team).

Reynolds and Paul Atkinson paced the Bulldogs with 11 points apiece. Noah Yates added eight points off the bench.

Yates is one of three seniors, joining Mason and Eric Anderson.

"They've done a great job for us over the last four years," said Jones, who opened his post-game press conference praising the three.

AJ Brodeur was the leader for Penn. He was 10-of-13 from the field, scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Max Rothschild and Darnell Foreman each added 11 points.

The Bulldogs trailed by one three, 12-9, after six minutes but were held scoreless for nearly five minutes. The Quakers ran off 12 straight points during the stretch to seize control.

Penn's lead was 44-25 at halftime.

NOTES: Butch Graves '84, this year's Yale Legend Of Ivy League Basketball, was recognized during the game. Graves is Yale's all-time leading scorer and ranks third on the Ivy League's all-time scoring list with 2,090 career points… The Bulldogs will open the 2018-19 season in Shanghai, China, against California in the fourth edition of the Pac-12 China Game presented by Alibaba Group… Both members of Yale's Class of 2017 – Sam Downey and Anthony Dallier – were among the many Yale supporters in attendance.

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