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March Madness Bound! Bulldogs Drop Harvard In Ivy Tourney Championship Game

dspics,com photo
dspics,com photo

Yale Rolls To 97-85 Victory Over Crimson

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale is headed back to March Madness. Alex Copeland scored 25 points to lead five players in double figures as the Bulldogs rolled to a 97-85 victory over Harvard in the championship game of the Ivy League Tournament before a raucous crowd at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Yale now advances to the NCAA Tournament.

"The game was tremendous," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "I thought our guys did so much to stay together and play together and play the right way."

Copeland, who was 9-of-14 from the field and added seven assists, was named the tournament most valuable player.

But it was contributions from throughout the roster that led to the victory. Miye Oni added 17 points, Azar Swain scored 15, Blake Reynolds had 14, Jordan Bruner scored 10, while Trey Phills and Paul Atkinson scored eight points each.

"That's what makes us such a dangerous team," said Reynolds, who was 6-of-7 from the field. "We have so many guys that can contribute and score."

Yale shot 60.4 percent from the field and scored at least 90 points for the eighth time this season.

Yale led by one, 43-42, at halftime but outscored the Crimson 54-43 in a dominant second half.

The Bulldogs seized control with a 15-0 run midway through the second half, which broke open a close game.

Yale did it with Oni, the team's leading scorer, on the bench with four fouls.

Bryce Aiken paced the Crimson with 38 points.

The Bulldogs are back in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in the last four years and fifth time overall.

"I've been thinking about this every day for two years, since we lost to that great Princeton team [in the Ivy Tourney finals] in my sophomore year," said Phills, who along with Reynolds, Copeland and fellow senior Thomas Ryan were part of the team that upset Baylor in the first round in 2016.

The victory avenged two losses to Harvard in the regular season.

"Getting to do this at home against Harvard is an unbelievable feeling," Reynolds said. "We came out and executed really well offensively and defensively."

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