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Trip To Harvard, Dartmouth On Tap

Jordan Bruner (Steve Musco photo)
Jordan Bruner (Steve Musco photo)

Friday's Game At Harvard To Air On ESPNU

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The first full weekend of Ivy League play has the Bulldogs on the road, traveling to Harvard on Friday and Dartmouth on Saturday. Tip on both nights is slated for 7 p.m. Friday's game at Harvard will be televised nationally on ESPNU with Doug Sherman (play-by-play) and Julianne Viani (analyst) on the call. Saturday's game at Dartmouth can be seen on ESPN+.

Yale (12-3, 2-0 Ivy) enters the weekend riding an eight-game winning streak, which is tied for the sixth longest in the nation through games on Wednesday night. The Bulldogs have lost (at No. 2 Duke) only once since Dec. 1 and sit at No. 69 in the NCAA men's basketball NET rankings and No. 80 in the KenPom rankings.

At 12-3 overall, Yale is off to its best start since the 1945-46 team was 14-1. The eight-game winning streak is the longest since the 2015-16 team rolled off 12 straights wins on its way to an Ivy League championship.

The Bulldogs opened Ivy play by sweeping travel partner Brown on back-to-back weekends, winning 70-67 in Providence and then 79-71 at Lee Amphitheater. Yale excelled in the three areas Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach James Jones values the most – rebounding, defense and sharing the ball. The Bulldogs limited the Bears to 38.8 percent shooting, outrebounded them by 7.5 per game and averaged 16 assists in the two games.

Yale has established itself as one of top rebounding teams in the nation. The Bulldogs lead Division I in defensive rebounds per game (31.80), are eighth in total rebounds per game (41.80) and are 20th in rebounding margin (+6.7). Yale is 11-1 on the season when it outrebounds its opponents.

Additionally, the Bulldogs are seventh in the nation in assists per game (18.7), 13th in field goal percentage (.494) and 32nd in field goal percentage defense (.402).

It's been a balanced attack that has led Yale offensively. Five players average double figures in scoring, led by Miye Oni at 16.2 ppg. Blake Reynolds (11.6 ppg.), Alex Copeland (11.5 ppg.), Jordan Bruner (11.2 ppg.) and Paul Atkinson (11.1 ppg.) are the other double figure scorers.

The Bulldogs' three losses have come to Memphis, Vermont and Duke. Those teams are a combined 47-15 (.758).

HISTORY LESSONS

Yale and Harvard have played 10 times in the last four seasons and eight of the 10 have been decided by 10 points or less. Two of the meetings came in the post season – Yale's 73-71 victory in the semifinals of the inaugural Ivy League Tournament in 2017 and Harvard's 53-51 win in an Ivy playoff in 2015. The Bulldogs have won three of their last five games in Lavietes Pavilion, but the Crimson took the last meeting last year. Yale leads the all-time series 120-80. The 120 wins are the most for the Bulldogs against any opponent. The first meeting was in 1901, a 41-16 Yale victory.

The Bulldogs have won the last six meetings with Dartmouth, including a 77-65 victory last year in Leede Arena. Blake Reynolds scored 17 points to lead the way. Miye Oni added 15 points and Paul Atkinson contributed 13 points and seven rebounds. Yale has won seven of its last nine games at Leede. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 115-97.

Yale's last sweep of the Dartmouth-Harvard road weekend came in the 2015-16 season.

SCOUTING HARVARD

The Crimson (8-7, 1-1 Ivy) split with Dartmouth, its travel partner, to kick off Ivy play with each team winning on its home floor. Harvard is 4-1 in Lavietes Pavilion this season. Bryce Aiken has returned to the lineup after being out with an injury. He is averaging 15.0 points in two games. Chris Lewis (13.3 ppg.) also averages double figures in scoring. Justin Bassey (7.3 rpg.) leads the team in rebounding. The Crimson is second in the Ivy League in field goal percentage at .471.

SCOUTING DARTMOUTH

The Big Green (10-8, 1-1 Ivy) hosts Brown on Friday. Dartmouth is one of the top three-point shooting teams in the nation and is currently sixth in Division I in three-point percentage (.405) and seventh in three-pointers made (10.8 per game). Brendan Barry leads the nation in three-point percentage (.513). He averages 13.7 points. Chris Knight leads the team in scoring (15.4 ppg.), rebounding (7.6 rpg.) and blocks (25). Dartmouth shot 68.1 percent (32-of-47) from the floor in an 81-63 victory over Harvard two weeks ago, the Big Green's most accurate game in almost 37 years.

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