Atkinson Matches Career-High With 20 Points
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale's depth was once again on display in Tuesday's 71-63 victory over Albany at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Playing without leading scorer Miye Oni, who was under the weather, the Bulldogs got contributions from a number of sources to earn a victory in their final game before taking a break for final exams.
Paul Atkinson matched his career high with 20 points in 21 minutes off the bench to lead the way. Blake Reynolds added 13 points, Trey Phills scored 12 and Jordan Bruner contributed seven points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
"We didn't really make any adjustments other than next man up," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs on playing without Oni. "We feel really confident about our team, and if we stick to our principles of what we are trying to do, it doesn't really matter who has the uniform on."
The Bulldogs (5-3) had to overcome a sluggish start. They missed their first nine shots from the field and found themselves trailing 9-1 after five minutes. Yale, though, went on to outscore the Great Danes 31-13 over the next 15 minutes to seize control.
Albany pulled within three, 37-34, early in the second half, but the Bulldogs answered with a 12-2 run, capped by an Atkinson layup, to regain control. The Great Danes never got closer than seven the rest of the way.
Despite the slow start, Yale still shot 53.7 percent from the field for the game.
Atkinson, who is among the Ivy League leaders in field goal percentage, was 9-of-12 from the field and added nine rebounds.
"Paul does a great job finishing, and he was definitely a boost for us tonight," Jones said.
Bruner also played a big role as a facilitator, grabbing rebounds and racing up court, which led to easy baskets.
"I think that gives us a little spark when I can get the ball off the rim and everybody takes off down the floor," he said. "That is one of my best attributes, how well I can see the floor."
His eight assists were a career high.
"Jordan is a triple double waiting to happen," Jones said. "If he was just a little bit more selfish offensively, he could have been very close to it [tonight]."
Jalen Gabbidon started in place of Oni and had five points and two rebounds. Alex Copeland added six points and seven assists, and first year Matthue Cotton also played a key role filling in for Oni, scoring five points in 10 minutes.
NOTES: The Bulldogs were wearing their gray uniforms for the first time… Yale outrebounded the Great Danes 40-32… The game capped a busy stretch for the Bulldogs, who because of snowstorm in North Carolina over the weekend, didn't get home from Duke until nearly midnight on Sunday and had just one practice to prepare for Albany… Yale now has a break from games but enters final exams. The Bulldogs don't play again until Dec. 20 at Monmouth.
Report filed by Tim Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity