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Gritty Bulldogs Hold Off Cornell 78-71

Miye Oni (Steve Musco photo)
Miye Oni (Steve Musco photo)

Yale Improves To 5-1 In Ivy Play With Win In Completion Of Saturday's Suspended Game

ITHACA, N.Y. – First the lights went out at Newman Arena. Then Miye Oni and Jordan Bruner got hot and it was lights out for Cornell. Oni scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Bruner added 15 points and eight rebounds as Yale completed a weekend sweep with a 78-71 victory over the Big Red.

It was hardly easy for the Bulldogs. There were 13 ties and 18 lead changes in a game that began Saturday but was suspended with 18:31 left in the first half and Yale leading 2-0 after the arena lost power for the second time. The start had been delayed 1 hour, 50 minutes due to the first outage.

Play resumed on Sunday at noon, and the teams battled for 38 minutes.

"It was a really gritty performance by our guys," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "Cornell played terrific. They were intense and aggressive. We had to really come together to pull it out."

Yale (13-6, 5-1 Ivy) has won four straight games and 11 of its last 13.

The Bulldogs, who sit a half-game behind Princeton (5-0) in the Ivy League standings, have played five of their six league games on the road. The next four come at home, starting Friday against Dartmouth.

It was another balanced effort from Yale, who got 11 points from Anthony Dallier, 10 from Sam Downey, nine from Blake Reynolds, eight from Alex Copeland and six from Trey Phills.

Cornell's Stone Gettings led all scorers with 28 points.

The Big Red's biggest lead of the game was seven, 31-24, with 4:53 left in the first half. Yale rallied and the score was tied 36-36 at halftime.

The final tie was 51-51 with 12 minutes left before the Bulldogs used a 9-2 run, capped by an Oni three-pointer, to grab the lead for good.

Cornell (6-15, 2-4 Ivy) closed to within one, 70-69, on Matt Morgan's three-point play with two minutes left. Copeland then scored on a driving layup, and after a Big Red turnover, Dallier drained a baseline jumper to push the lead back to five.

Dallier and Oni each hit a pair of free throws in the final 23 seconds to help seal the victory.

Dallier, Yale's captain, was strong down the stretch, scoring four points and adding a steal in the final 1:05. His jumper that increased the lead to five was the biggest shot of the game.

"That's what a leader does," Jones said.

Yale, despite featuring a number of freshmen and sophomores on its roster, has executed extremely well down the stretch of league games this year.

"We have a lot of energy at the end of games," said Oni, who was 5-of-7 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. "It starts with defense."

The Bulldogs held Cornell to 37.5 percent shooting from the field in the second half.

"We came out with more intensity," Oni said of the strong second half.

Yale also limited the Big Red to 4-of-24 shooting from three-point range in the game.

NOTES:

Jones gave credit to his entire roster for the success the Bulldogs have had so far in Ivy play. "We've been able to win all these close games due to our competitive practices," he said. "Our bench has done a tremendous job each day."... The Bulldogs have trailed in the second half in four of their five Ivy League wins… Yale was 23-of-28 from the free throw line in the game… In his last three games, Phills is 22-of-22 from the foul line… Yale has now swept the Columbia-Cornell road trip in each of the last three years… The extra day in Ithaca proved to be a minor inconvenience to the Bulldogs, who were able to check back into the same hotel they stayed on Friday night after the long trip from Columbia. The hotel did not lose power… There have now been two games suspended and completed at a later date this season in college basketball. Idaho State and Weber State had their game on Jan. 7 stopped because of water dripping onto the court. It wasn't completed until two weeks later… Yale played on Super Bowl Sunday for the first time since 1999 at Dartmouth… The Bulldogs made three three-pointers. As part of the Coaches Vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge, fans can make a pledge for each 3-point shot the Bulldogs make from February 1st – March 4th by visiting https://pledgeit.org/cvc-yale. Each donation will support the American Cancer Society's research, education and patient programs… Friday's home game vs. Dartmouth is a 7 p.m. tip at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in Payne Whitney Gym. Harvard visits on Saturday, also a 7 p.m. start… The Bulldogs have won 21 straight games in Lee Amphitheater, the fifth longest active streak in the nation.

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