Bulldogs Complete Weekend Sweep; Topple Princeton 69-65
Three Players In Double Figures; Yale Ends Tigers 21-Game Home Ivy Winning Streak
PRINCETON, N.J. – A snowy weekend in the Northeast turned out to be quite memorable for the Yale men's basketball team. Javier Duren scored 13 points to lead three players in double figures as the Bulldogs completed a weekend sweep with a 69-65 victory over Princeton before 2,975 at Jadwin Gym.
Yale, which knocked off Penn in the Palestra on Friday, shot 54.8 percent from the field.
"This was our best ball game of the year," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "We did an excellent job of executing our game plan. It was a great team effort, and that is what it takes to win on the road."
All nine players that saw action scored and all but one had at least one rebound. Sam Martin was a perfect 3-for-3 from three-point range and finished with 11 points. Austin Morgan also scored 11, and Justin Sears contributed nine points. Nick Victor and Jeremiah Kreisberg each had seven points.
Yale's bench outscored Princeton's reserves 34-10.
The Bulldogs (9-14, 3-3 Ivy) won both games on the Penn and Princeton road trip for the first time since the 1986-87 season.
The win also snapped Princeton's 21-game home Ivy League winning streak, the program's longest since winning 26 in a row from 1996-99.
"This should give us a boost," Jones said.
Denton Koon scored 16 points to lead Princeton, which suffered its first Ivy loss of the season. Ian Hummer added 14 points, five rebounds and six assists, but committed seven turnovers.
Yale played a near flawless first half. The Bulldogs shot 65 percent (13-of-20) from the field and committed just five turnovers. Yale also used a zone defense that seemed to bother the Tigers, who were just 9-of-21 from the field. The end result was 34-26 halftime lead for the Bulldogs.
"We didn't think we could guard them at the basket," Jones said of the decision to play a zone. "We wanted to do something to take that away."
Still, Princeton (11-8, 4-1 Ivy) got back in the game in the second half, and the score was tied at 53 with seven minutes left.
Yale then scored the next four points and never relinquished the lead. Duren made sure of that by scoring six of his points over the next four minutes. When the Tigers got within one, Duren hit a short jumper in the lane. Duren then answered a Koon dunk by making a pair of free throws. Two more Duren free throws following a Princeton turnover gave the Bulldogs a 65-60 lead with 2:41 left.
Princeton, though, had a chance to tie in the final seconds. Trailing 67-65 with the ball, the Tigers ran the clock down to under 10 seconds, but Matt Townsend reached in to deflect a T.J. Bray pass. Morgan corralled it, was quickly fouled and calmly sank two free throws to seal the victory.
The victory was particularly sweet for Sears, a Plainsboro, N.J., native, who played a number of games in high school at Jadwin.
"It was a great feeling to play in front of so many family and friends," he said. "But this is not about me. It's all about the team."
NOTES: None of the players on the current roster were born the last time Yale swept the Penn-Princeton road trip… The Bulldogs finished 7-of-12 from three-point range in the game… Yale outscored the Tigers 16-7 at the free throw line… Morgan was 2-of-2 from the foul line and has now made 26 straight dating back to the Florida game on Jan. 6… The Yale track & field team, who competed earlier in the day in the HYP meet, was in attendance… Because of the nearly three-feet of snow in New Haven, the team stayed in Princeton on Saturday night and is scheduled to return on Sunday.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity