Bulldogs Fall Two Games Behind First-Place Harvard
PRINCETON, N.J. – An off night from the field doomed Yale Friday at Princeton. The Bulldogs shot just 30 percent from the field and dropped a 57-46 decision to the Tigers before a crowd of 2,730 at Jadwin Gym.
"We had opportunities to score, we just didn't do it," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "We had a number of opportunities at the basket that we missed."
The loss, coupled with Harvard's home win over Cornell, dropped Yale two games behind the first-place Crimson with three to play. The Bulldogs (14-11, 8-3 Ivy) are at Penn on Saturday, while Harvard hosts Columbia.
"We're just focused on ourselves," said Justin Sears, who paced Yale with 22 points and nine rebounds. "Whatever Harvard does, Harvard does. We are focused on Yale Basketball."
Yale and Harvard meet in the next to last game of the season next Friday in New Haven.
Sears did most of his damage in the first half when he scored 19 of his points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. Princeton, though, limited him to just three field goal attempts in the second half.
"They made it tougher for me to catch it, and every time I dribbled they collapsed on me and forced me to give it up," Sears said.
Javier Duren, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with an injury, added 13 points for the Bulldogs.
T.J. Bray, the Ivy League's leading scorer, paced Princeton with 19 points. Spencer Weisz scored 14 and Hans Brase contributed 12.
Princeton (16-8, 4-6 Ivy) wasn't much better than Yale offensively. The Tigers shot just 32.7 percent from the field but made seven three-pointers compared to just two for the Bulldogs.
The score was tied at 36 with 9:48 left. Princeton then scored the next 10 points to seize control. Will Barrett capped the run with a three-pointer.
After attempting 17 three-pointers in the first half, the Tigers were better at getting to the basket in the final 20 minutes.
"We did a poor job defensively on back cuts," Jones said. "If you take those opportunities away, it's harder for them to score."
NOTES: Yale, which had been averaging nearly 35 free throws in Ivy games, got to the line just 18 times… The Bulldogs were 2-of-12 from three-point range… Yale had a 38-36 rebounding edge… The Bulldogs committed 16 turnovers, which Princeton turned into 19 points… Yale and Penn tip at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The Quakers fell to Brown 76-67 on Friday.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity