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Bulldogs Set For First Road Ivy Weekend

Blake Reynolds (Steve Musco photo)
Blake Reynolds (Steve Musco photo)

Yale Visits Dartmouth Friday, Harvard Saturday

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NEW HAVEN, Conn.  – Yale has taken care of business at home in the first half of the Ivy League season. Five of the Bulldogs' six league wins have come in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Now it's time to head out on the road for four straight, starting this weekend. Yale plays at Dartmouth on Friday and is at Harvard on Saturday. Both are 7 p.m. tips. and can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network. Saturday's game also will be televised on NESN in New England.

The Bulldogs, who are 6-0 in Ivy play for the first time, have won 10 straight overall, their longest winning streak since 1956-57. The last time Yale won 11 or 12 consecutive games was midway through the 1948-49 season. The school record winning streak is 13 set in 1906-07.

Yale (15-5 overall) is one of only four teams still undefeated in conference play, joining Stony Brook (11-0, America East), Stephen F. Austin (11-0, Southland) and San Diego State (11-0, Mountain West).

The Bulldogs lead the nation in rebounding margin at +12.4 and are eighth in offensive rebounds at 14.45 per game.

That rebounding dominance was certainly on display in last weekend's sweep of Columbia and Cornell. Yale outrebounded the Lions 35-23 and then had an astounding 56-22 edge on the boards in a 31-point victory over the Big Red.

The Bulldogs were dominant in just about every facet last weekend. They shot 52.4 percent from the field, including 53.7 percent from three-point range, and held their opponents to just 39.1 percent. In six Ivy games, Yale is shooting 52.9 percent and has a 17.5-point average margin of victory.

It was also a record-breaking weekend at Lee Amphitheater. In Friday's win over Columbia, Brandon Sherrod set a new NCAA single season record by making 30 consecutive field goals, passing the mark of 26 shared by Eastern Michigan's James Thompson, who did it earlier this season, and Bowling Green's Torian Oglesby, who did it in 2012. The streak started when Sherrod hit his final shot at home against Brown on Jan. 16. He then went 9-of-9 at Brown, 7-of-7 against Penn, 8-of-8 against Princeton and made his first five shots against Columbia.

Justin Sears also had a big weekend. Sears scored 27 points in the win over Columbia, added 13 against Cornell and was selected as the Ivy League Player of the Week, sharing the honor with Princeton's Steven Cook. It is the 13th time in his outstanding career that Sears has earned Player of the Week recognition, adding to the all-time league record he established earlier this season.

Sears is fifth in the league in scoring (15.9 ppg.), sixth in field goal percentage (.538), ninth in rebounding (6.8 rpg.) and second in blocked shots (1.6 per game).

Makai Mason is seventh in the league in scoring (15.5 ppg.) and second in assists (4.0 per game), while Nick Victor is second in three-point field goal percentage (.500).

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Offensive Rebounds: Yale's success on the offensive glass is well documented. Dartmouth and Harvard also have had success. The Big Green is second in the league, grabbing more than 12 offensive boards per game, while the Crimson average nearly 11 offensive rebounds per game.

Defense: Yale and Harvard are the top two teams in the league in most every defensive category, including scoring defense and field goal percentage defense. The two also top the league in blocked shots.

Road Play: The Bulldogs have played only one road game since Jan. 2, a 90-66 victory at Brown. Yale, though, has won three straight games away from home with an average margin of victory of 26.3 points.

HISTORY LESSONS

Yale has won four of its last six games at Leede Arena. One of the losses, however, came in the last meeting, 59-58 in the 2014-15 regular season finale. Overall, the Bulldogs have won 16 of the last 20 meetings in the series. Yale leads the all-time series 109-97. The first meeting was a 10-8 Yale win in 1900.

The Bulldogs have won two straight at Lavietes Pavilion, including a 62-52 victory last year. The Crimson, though, won the last meeting, a 53-51 victory in an Ivy League Playoff at the Palestra. Six of the last seven games between the teams have been decided by 10 points or less. Overall, Yale leads the series 117-76. The 117 victories are the most for the Bulldogs against any opponent.

Yale last swept the Dartmouth-Harvard road weekend two years ago.

SCOUTING DARTMOUTH

The Big Green (7-13, 1-5 Ivy) feature one of the top freshmen in the Ivy League in Evan Boudreaux, a seven-time Rookie of the Week selection. He won the award again on Monday after averaging 22 points and 8.5 rebounds against Penn and Princeton. Boudreaux, who is averaging 16.9 points, has led the team in scoring in each of the last seven games. Dartmouth leads the Ivy League in free throw percentage at 72.9 percent.

SCOUTING HARVARD

The Crimson (9-13, 1-5 Ivy) lead the Ivy League in field goal percentage defense (.400) and also top the league in three-point field goal percentage defense (.289). Harvard has posted a 148-56 (.725) overall record since the start of the 2009-10 season, ranking as the 19th-highest win percentage in the country over the last six-plus seasons. The Crimson has posted a 77-11 (.875) record at Lavietes Pavilion since the start of the 2009-10 season, representing the 16th highest home-court win percentage in the country over the last six-plus seasons. Zena Edosomwan (14.2 ppg., 10.5 rpg.) leads the team in scoring and rebounding but missed both games last weekend with an injury.

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