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Princeton, Penn Visit On Alumni Weekend

Azar Swain (Steve Musco photo)
Azar Swain (Steve Musco photo)

Bulldogs Undefeated At Home

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The friendly confines of Lee Amphitheatre have been very kind to Yale this season. The Bulldogs are 6-0 in the historic arena, and they'll get the chance to improve on that when Princeton and Penn visit this weekend. Yale hosts first-place Princeton on Friday and defending Ivy League champion Penn on Saturday. Tipoff both nights is slated for 7 p.m. ESPN+ has video of each game with John Ryan (play-by-play) and Josh Hess (analyst) on the call.

A portion of tickets sales from Friday's Princeton game will benefit United Way of Greater New Haven. In addition, it is alumni weekend.

The Bulldogs (13-4, 3-1 Ivy) have been dominant at home, outscoring their opponents by 16.2 points per game, outrebounding them by 12.7 per game and shooting 51.5 percent from the field. Yale has scored 90 or more points three times and is averaging 87.7 points.

The Bulldogs, though, have been pretty good everywhere in 2018-19. They have won nine of their last 10 games and sit among the national leaders in several categories, including assists (7th, 17.9 per game), fewest fouls (8th), field goal percentage (22nd, 48.6 percent), field goal percentage defense (35th, 40.4 percent), rebounding margin (34th, +5.5), scoring offense (33rd, 81.2) and total rebounds per game (14th, 40.82).

The only loss during the recent stretch came last Friday at Harvard, but Yale responded with a resounding 89-68 victory at Dartmouth the next night. Miye Oni scored a career-high 31 points to lead the way against the Big Green, including 24 in a spectacular second half that saw him go 13-of-17 from field. It was reminiscent of last year at Columbia when Oni scored 24 second-half points, including 16 straight Yale points, in a victory that clinched a spot in the Ivy League Tournament for the Bulldogs.

Oni, who added 10 rebounds against Dartmouth to post his fourth double-double of the season, is second in the Ivy League in scoring (16.8 ppg.), third in assists (3.8 per game) and eighth in rebounding (6.3 rpg.).

Oni is part of a very balanced Yale offense. Alex Copeland (11.5 ppg.), Blake Reynolds (11.4 ppg.), Jordan Bruner (11.2 ppg.) and Paul Atkinson (10.5 ppg.) also average double figures in scoring.

Yale also features one of the top defenders in the league in Trey Phills, who limited Dartmouth's Brendan Barry, who entered last weekend leading the nation in three-point percentage, to just 1-of-3 from downtown last Saturday. Earlier, Phills held Brown's leading scorer, Desmond Cambridge, to just 8-of-35 (22.9 percent) shooting from the field in Yale's season-sweep of the Bears.

HISTORY LESSONS

Yale has swept the Princeton-Penn home weekend in seven of the last eight years, including last season.

Yale and Princeton have a long history. The teams have met at least once every year since 1902, which ties the series with Yale-Columbia as the oldest continuous series in Division I. The teams played a pair of overtime games last year. Miye Oni and Azar Swain both scored 18 points in Yale's 94-90 victory at Lee Amphitheater. Jerome Desrosiers's three-pointer with 36 seconds left in overtime snapped a 73-73 tie and lifted the Tigers to a 76-73 win at Jadwin Gym. Princeton leads the all-time series 150-88.

The last Yale-Penn game in Lee Amphitheater was a thriller as Paul Atkinson's layup with three-tenths-of-a-second left lifted the Bulldogs to a wild, 80-79 victory. That was the second of three meetings between the teams. Penn had won 59-50 earlier in the regular season and then topped the Bulldogs 80-57 in the Ivy League Tournament at the Palestra. Yale has won six of the last seven games with Penn at Lee Amphitheater. The Quakers lead the all-time series 149-80.

SCOUTING PRINCETON

The Tigers (12-5, 4-0 Ivy) have won seven straight games, including a weekend sweep of Columbia and Cornell last weekend. Two victories during the streak have come in overtime – last Saturday at Cornell and Dec. 29 at Arizona State. Princeton's last loss came on Dec. 18 at Duke (101-50). The Tigers are 4-0 in Ivy play for the second time in the last three years. Myles Stephens has notched double-doubles in three Ivy League games this season and in five total games on the season. He is averaging 13.9 points and 6.6 rebounds. Richmond Aririguzoh averages 11.3 points and 5.6 rebounds.

SCOUTING PENN

The Quakers (13-7, 1-3 Ivy) play at Brown on Friday. They are coming off a split last weekend, falling at Cornell and winning at Columbia. Bryce Washington, who averaged 11 points in the two games, was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the second straight week. AJ Brodeur (15.8 ppg.) and Devon Goodman (13.1 ppg.) lead the Quakers in scoring. Penn went 4-0 in Philadelphia Big 5 play and won the city series for the first time since 2001-02. The Quakers finished 12-4 in non-conference games this season, their best mark since 2001-02.

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