Bulldogs Outscore Bears 37-17 Over Final 13 Minutes In 85-75 Victory
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Bulldogs' long home winning streak looked to be in serious jeopardy when they found themselves trailing Brown by 10, 58-48, midway through the second half. Yale responded with its most dynamic 13 minutes in recent memory, outscoring the Bears 37-17 the rest of the way en route to an 85-75 victory before a raucous crowd at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
It was the 21st consecutive home win for Yale, the fifth longest active streak in the nation. More importantly, it moved the Bulldogs to 3-1 in Ivy League play and 11-6 overall.
Yale has won nine of its last 11 games.
Anthony Dallier scored a career-high 30 points and added seven assists and six rebounds to lead the way. Trey Phills had 16 points, also a career high, and Sam Downey scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
The list of contributors to the win was quite long. Eric Monroe hit a big three-pointer, his only field goal of the game, to get the comeback started. Jordan Bruner blocked six shots, and Miye Oni's coast-to-coast drive, capped by an emphatic dunk, helped raise the decibel level in the Amphitheater.
"We just talked about staying together," Dallier said of the comeback. "There was a lot of time left so we had to keep fighting."
Dallier, whose previous career high was 15 points against Albany earlier this season, was 6-of-10 from the field and 15-of-18 from the free throw line, including several in the final minutes that helped seal the win.
"Each night, I just try to do what the team needs me to do," he said.
Phills also had a big night at the free throw line, connecting on all nine of his attempts.
"I just tried to be more aggressive," said Phills, who was 3-of-6 from the field and added six rebounds and two steals in 30 minutes.
The Bulldogs completed a season sweep of the Bears. Yale won 75-74 last Friday in Providence.
Steven Spieth, who scored 33 points in the first meeting, had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bears. Only seven of his points, however, came in the second half when he was 1-of-5 from three-point range after making three treys in the opening 20 minutes.
"We decided to get a little closer to him and not give him so much space," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs.
It helped having Bruner in the back. His six blocks were a career high.
"Jordan is tremendous at protecting the rim," said Jones, who also used the 6-9 Bruner at the top of a 1-3-1 zone that helped spark the comeback. "It makes it easier for our guards to put pressure on the ball."
The first half featured seven ties and six lead changes, the final one coming on an Obi Okolie three-pointer with 14 seconds left that allowed the Bears to take a 40-39 advantage to the locker room.
Brown (10-10, 1-3 Ivy) then opened the second half with an 18-9 run, capped by a Tavon Blackmon three-pointer that made it 58-48 and had the big crowd uptight.
But the Bulldogs answered with a 22-3 run over the next 10 minutes, and it was suddenly quite loud again.
"Very friendly," Phills said of the atmosphere in the historic building during the comeback. "It was great to have a [big] crowd. It's been awhile since we had a home game so I think they were excited for the game."
NOTES: Dallier's 30 points were the most by a Bulldog since Makai Mason had 31 in the victory over Baylor in the NCAA Tournament last March… Yale was 12-of-19 (63.2 percent) from the field and 19-of-23 (82.6 percent) from the free throw line in the second half… The Bulldogs have swept the season series from Brown in each of the last three years… Yale has won seven straight over the Bears in Lee Amphitheater… Both coaching staffs wore sneakers as part of the Coaches Vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers Week, a nationwide event when coaches unite for a common cause – saving lives from cancer… The Bulldogs are back on the road next weekend, traveling to Columbia on Friday at 7 p.m. before a Saturday date with Cornell at 6 p.m.
Report filed by Tim Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity