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Dartmouth, Harvard Visit First-Place Yale

Alex Copeland (Steve Musco photo)
Alex Copeland (Steve Musco photo)

Bulldogs Seek To Extend Five-Game Winning Streak

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale fared well during its first go-round though the Ivy League. The Bulldogs sit at 7-1 as they prepare for their second meetings with Dartmouth and Harvard, who visit the John J. Lee Amphitheater this weekend. Yale hosts Dartmouth on Friday in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPNews, while Harvard is in town on Saturday. Both games tipoff at 7 p.m.

The Bulldogs have won five straight games and 13 of their last 14. At 17-4 overall, Yale has its best record through 21 games since the 1948-49 team won 18 of its first 22 on its way to an EIBL Championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance.

Yale's four losses (Memphis, Vermont, Duke and Harvard) have come against teams that have a combined record of 73-27 (.730) through Wednesday's night's games.

With a pair of wins this weekend and one loss by both Penn and Brown, Yale would clinch a spot in the Ivy League Tournament for the third straight year.

The Bulldogs, who received a vote in this week's AP top-25 national poll, have been dominant in the friendly confines of Lee Amphitheater where they are 8-0 this season and have won 13 straight dating back to last season. Yale has outscored its opponents by more than 15 points per game, has a +11.5 rebounding margin and is shooting 51.5 percent from the field at home.

Offensively, the Bulldogs lead the Ivy League in scoring at 81.0 ppg. Yale has scored 90 or more points a school record seven times this season, including in last Saturday's 98-92 win at Cornell.

The Bulldogs are among the national leaders in several categories, including defensive rebounds per game where they lead the nation at 31.05. Yale also is eighth in field goal percentage (49.3), ninth in assists (17.3 per game), 22nd in field goal percentage defense (40.0) and 26th in rebounding margin (+5.9).

Five Bulldogs average double figures in scoring, led by Miye Oni at 18.3 ppg. Oni is among the league leaders in scoring (2nd), assists (tied for league lead at 3.8 per game) and rebounding (6th, 6.7 per game). During the five-game winning streak, he is averaging 25.4 points and 8.4 rebounds, while shooting 52.4 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range. He became only the fifth player at Yale to record back-to-back 30-point games when he tallied 31 at Dartmouth and 35 vs. Princeton, joining Tony Lavelli '49, Rick Kaminisky '64, who accomplished it twice, Jim Morgan '71 and Butch Graves '84.

Alex Copeland, who is second on the team in scoring (12.0 ppg.), needs 18 points to become the 29th player in school history to score at least 1,000 career points

The Bulldogs are 13-0 on the season when leading at halftime and 16-1 when they outrebound their opponent.

HISTORY LESSONS

The Bulldogs have won seven straight over Dartmouth, including an 89-68 victory in Hanover on Feb. 2. Miye Oni scored 24 of his 31 points in the second half to lead the way. He was 13-of-17 from the field over the final 20 minutes. Yale is 17-3 in its last 20 games with the Big Green and has won four straight at Lee Amphitheater. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 116-97. The first meeting came in 1900, a 10-8 Yale win in Boston.

Yale has 120 victories over Harvard, more than any other opponent. The Crimson, though, has won the last three meetings, including 65-49 on Feb. 1 in Cambridge. The teams have played 11 times in the last 4+ seasons, including twice in the post season. The Bulldogs beat Harvard 73-71 in the semifinals of the 2017 Ivy League Tournament, while the Crimson won a 2015 playoff game, 53-51. Yale leads the all-time series 120-80. The first meeting came in 1901, a 41-16 Bulldog victory.

Yale's last home sweep of the Dartmouth-Harvard home weekend came in 2016.

SCOUTING DARTMOUTH

The Big Green (11-13, 2-6 Ivy) is coming off a pair of heartbreaking road losses last weekend, 82-79 in overtime at Penn and 69-68 at Princeton. Dartmouth is 15th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage at .390. Brendan Barry is the Big Green's most accurate long-range shooter. He is seventh in the nation at 47.7 percent and averages 13.7 ppg. Chris Knight leads Dartmouth in scoring at 16.1 ppg. Ian Sistare (10.3 ppg.) and James Foye (10.1 ppg.) also average double figures in scoring.

SCOUTING HARVARD

Harvard (13-8, 6-2 Ivy) enters the weekend one game behind first-place Yale in the Ivy League standings. The Crimson, which has won seven of its last eight games, plays at Brown on Friday. Bryce Aiken is the reigning Ivy League Player of the Week after averaging 29 points in Harvard's sweep of Princeton and Penn last weekend. Aiken is averaging 21.6 points in eight games after returning to the lineup from injury. Chris Lewis (11.7 ppg.) and Justin Bassey (10.7 ppg.) also average double figures in scoring. Robert Baker (5.1 ppg.) scored 13 points in the first meeting between the teams.

MILESTONES

Blake Reynolds appeared in his 100th career game at Yale on Feb. 9 vs. Penn… Alex Copeland sits at 982 career points. He needs just 18 to become the 29th player in school history to score at least 1,000 career points… Miye Oni reached the 1,000-point mark earlier this season… James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs, earned career win No. 300 as the Bulldogs defeated Brown 79-71 on Jan. 25. Jones becomes the third coach in Ivy League history to reach 300 career victories, joining Pete Carril (514 at Princeton) and Fran Dunphy (310 at Penn).

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