Non-Conference Play Wraps Up Tuesday At Home

Azar Swain (Steve Musco photo)
Azar Swain (Steve Musco photo)

Bulldogs Host Skidmore Seeking Sixth Straight Win

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale wraps up non-conference play by hosting Skidmore on Tuesday. Tip off at the John J. Lee Amphitheater is slated for 7 p.m. ESPN+ has the video with John Ryan and Josh Hess on the call.

It's been a very busy and successful non-conference season for the Bulldogs, who have travelled nearly 30,000 miles over the course of two months in posting a 9-3 record, including wins over power conference foes California (in China) and Miami. A victory over Skidmore would give Yale its most wins heading into Ivy play since the 2014-15 team was 11-6. The Bulldogs would also improve to 10-3 for the first time since 1991-92.

It could be a memorable night for junior Miye Oni, who needs just three points to become the 28th player in school history to reach the 1,000-career point mark. Oni would be first Yale player since Justin Sears '16 to reach the milestone. Sears also did it in his junior season.

The Bulldogs, who have won five straight games and eight of their last nine, continue to put up some impressive offensive numbers. Yale has scored at least 90 points in three straight games and is 23rd in the nation in scoring offense at 83.8 per game. The Bulldogs are also among the nation's leaders in assists (8th, 19.0 per game) and field goal percentage (19th, 49.7 percent).

Yale has five players - Oni (16.9 ppg.), Jordan Bruner (11.7 ppg.), Blake Reynolds (11.2 ppg.), Paul Atkinson (11.1 ppg.) and Alex Copeland (10.6 ppg.) - averaging double figures in scoring.

Bruner, who grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds in Saturday's 94-90 overtime victory at Cal State Northridge, has excelled in other areas as well. He is leading the Ivy League in rebounding (8.4 rpg.) and assists (4.3 per game) and has flirted with a triple-double on a couple of occasions. In his last four games, Bruner is averaging 12.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists.

Sophomore Paul Atkinson also has been hot. He has scored in double figures in each of the last three games and is averaging 15.0 points and shooting 79.5 percent (31-of-39) from the field in the last five games. Atkinson leads the league in field goal percentage at .740.

Yale is 4-0 in the friendly confines of Lee Amphitheater this season, outscoring its opponents by 15.0 points per game.

After Skidmore, the Bulldogs have a 10-day break before kicking off Ivy play at Brown on Jan. 19.

HISTORY LESSONS

Yale and Skidmore are playing for the first time.

SCOUTING SKIDMORE

The Thoroughbreds (7-3) compete in the Liberty League and have won three straight games. They are coming off a weekend sweep of RPI and Union. Noah Meren (22.8 ppg.) and Edvinas Rupkus (17.3 ppg.) lead the team in scoring. This will be Skidmore's third venture into Division I competition. The Thoroughbreds played at Cornell in 1997 (L 70-54) and 2000 (L 83-50).

CROSSMAN FAMILIAR WITH THOROUGHBREDS

Yale's Director of Basketball Operations Rey Crossman was a a key part of the Skidmore program as an assistant coach from 2015-2018. In his three years at Skidmore, Crossman helped the Thoroughbreds make two NCAA Tournament appearances, win two NCAA Tournament games, capture one conference championship, earn the school's first national ranking and reach three Liberty League Tournament championship games. Skidmore averaged 18 wins per season during his tenure.

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