Bulldogs One Step Closer To Clinching Berth In Ivy League Tournament
HANOVER, N.H. – In need of a win, Yale responded with one its best offensive performances of the season. The Bulldogs shot nearly 60 percent from the field and made 11 three-pointers in a 99-86 victory over Dartmouth at Leede Arena.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak and put Yale one big step closer to clinching a spot in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament.
"We didn't turn it over and we ran our offense," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "When we stick to the script, we are pretty good."
Yale (15-10, 7-5 Ivy) needs one more win to earn a spot in the tournament. The Bulldogs are currently in third place, two games ahead of Penn and Columbia, who are tied for the fourth and final spot.
The Bulldogs close out the season by hosting Cornell and Columbia next weekend.
Evan Boudreaux almost single-handedly kept the Big Green (6-19, 3-9 Ivy) in the game, finishing with 27 points and 12 rebounds.
Oni, who had been in a bit of a shooting slump, scored 20 of his points in the second half when he was 7-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-4 from three-point range.
"It was good to see some shots do down. I got some confidence back," he said. "My teammates never lost faith in me."
Copeland also had a big second half, scoring 16 points. He was 6-of-8 from the field.
It took contributions from a number of players, though, to secure the victory. Early foul trouble forced Jones to go deeper to his bench than usual, and he got a big response.
Jones was also pleased with the way his team handled adversity. Leading 57-51 early in the second half, Yale watched the Big Green score seven straight points in unusual fashion. Miles Wright got it started with a driving layup. He was fouled on the play, and as the teams headed to the benches for a media timeout, Trey Phills was called for a highly questionable technical foul for delivering a soft bump to a Dartmouth player. When play resumed, Wright completed the three-point play, and Taylor Johnson made the two free throws from the technical.
Dartmouth kept possession, and Boudreaux buried a jumper to give the Big Green a 58-57 lead with 15:45 remaining.
The Bulldogs, though, responded by scoring the next four points and didn't relinquish the lead again.
There were some anxious moments, though. Mike Fleming's jumper pulled Dartmouth within one, 77-76, with 7:06 left, but Yale then held the Big Green scoreless for nearly five minutes and scored 12 points to push the lead to 89-76.
The Bulldogs made their free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
"We dug down deep," Oni said. "It was a good team win and should help build our morale."
Downey and Dallier, Yale's two seniors, have now been a part of 79 wins in their careers, making them the winningest class in the modern history of Yale basketball… Oni's 27 points were a career high. He also had seven rebounds and four assists… Copeland's 23 points matched his career high… Jordan Bruner contributed two blocks and five rebounds off the bench… The Bulldogs committed only seven turnovers… Yale was 11-of-22 from three-point range. 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… Both the Cornell and Columbia games are 7 p.m. tips next Friday and Saturday… Dallier and Downey will be honored prior to Saturday's Columbia game as part of the Senior Night festivities.
Report filed by Tim Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity