Five Players Score In Double Figures
SEATTLE, Wash. – The college basketball season is only two days old, and Yale already has an upset on its resume. Although with what Yale's program has become, maybe it was no upset at all. Freshman Miye Oni led five players in double figures with 24 points as the Bulldogs put themselves right back in the national spotlight with a 98-90 victory over Washington before 7,456 stunned witnesses at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Yale, who captured the hearts of the nation by knocking off Baylor in the NCAA Tournament a year ago, led for more than 36 minutes against the Pac-12 Huskies. The Bulldogs did it despite losing two first team All-Ivy selections from a year ago to graduation and learning only this week that Ivy League Player of the Year candidate Makai Mason is likely out for the season with an injury.
"I couldn't be more proud of this team," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "I feel as good about this win as I did the Baylor win."
While the faces may have changed, Yale's formula for success remains the same. The Bulldogs outrebounded the Huskies 42-29 and had 20 assists on their 33 field goals.
And there was plenty of balance. Sam Downey had 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, Blake Reynolds added 19 points, Alex Copeland scored 14, and Anthony Dallier contributed 12 points and six assists.
The point totals were career highs for Downey, Reynolds and Copeland.
Dallier, who took over the starting point guard duties in Mason's absence, was in many ways the catalyst. He played 37 minutes and committed only one turnover to go along with his career-high six assists.
And when Dallier moved off the ball, Copeland stepped in and ran the show well. He had five assists and zero turnovers in 25 minutes off the bench.
"I put my faith in Anthony and Alex," Jones said.
Both kept the team composed when Washington made a couple of runs in the second half.
Dallier leaned on the experience he gained late season when he was utilized at point guard to give Mason a blow.
"Anthony is a jack-of-all trades for us," Downey said. "We have a lot of confidence in him running the point."
Yale played a nearly flawless first half in building a 49-35 lead.
The Huskies, though, made a couple of pushes in the second half, but the Bulldogs had an answer every time. UW pulled within eight by opening with a 12-6 run, but Yale scored the next five points, including a Copeland three-pointer.
The Huskies then got within four, 77-73, with 5:32 left, but Reynolds scored on a back-door layup, and Dallier made a jumper to push it back to eight.
The dagger was an Oni three-pointer with 1:24 left that gave Yale an 88-77 lead.
From there, the Bulldogs made their free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
"It's a huge win for us," Dallier said. "We're young and were a little banged up but we found a way."
Washington's Markelle Fultz entered the game as one of the most heralded freshmen in the nation, and he didn't disappoint, scoring 30 points and adding seven rebounds and six assists.
Oni, though, nearly matched him. He was 9-of-14 from the field, including 4-of-6 from three-pointers, and had six rebounds and three assists in his first game as a Bulldog.
"Miye was outstanding," Jones said.
The victory was Yale's second over a Pac-12 school. The Bulldogs knocked off Oregon State 53-52 in 2008.
NOTES: Oni was one of two freshmen to see action for the Bulldogs. Austin Williams had two points and three rebounds in nine minutes… Freshman Jordan Bruner missed the game with an injury… Trey Phills drew the challenging assignment of guarding Fultz, and while Fultz had the 30 points, Phills made him work hard… Eric Anderson contributed four rebounds and a free throw in nine minutes… The game was a homecoming for senior AJ Edwards, a Seattle native who was unable to play due to injury. Edwards, who hosted a terrific team dinner at his house on Friday night, was UW ball boy growing up.
Report filed by Tim Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity