It’s the beginning of a four-game stretch of home matches, and the men’s basketball team (8-8, 1-1 Ivy) has a 5-2 record at home.
This weekend’s matchups against Columbia (7-10, 0-2) and Cornell (10-5, 2-0), the only Ivy team with two conference wins, promise to be exciting.
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“We saw what Columbia did to us in our own building last year, so we know we have to play well both nights,” forward Nick Holmes ’08 said of the 82-64 loss to the Lions that the Bulldogs sustained last year.
Columbia boasts a talented forward in John Baumann and grabs a high number of rebounds as a team. As always, the meeting between Lions’ head coach Joe Jones and his brother, Yale head coach James Jones, will be charged.
Cornell is currently the Ancient Eight leader and was picked to top the league by the media in the preseason. The Big Red backcourt sees solid performances from Ryan Wittman and Louis Dale, but the boys from Ithaca are no slouches under the posts, either.
Playing travelmate Columbia, the Big Red racked up 58 points in the paint to just 40 from the Lions across two games. Like the Elis, Cornell has a slew of players who can go for double digits on any given night.
The Bulldogs suffered from a defensive breakdown in last weekend’s game at Brown and failed to find a consistent rhythm in the game.
“We have good shooters on this team, and we will have off nights like we did last weekend,” guard Caleb Holmes ’08 said. “That’s why it’s so important for us to get defensive stops, so that we can win games we don’t shoot the ball well.”
But the Elis have the ability to do some damage with an all-upperclassman starting lineup and solid support off the bench. Captain and guard Eric Flato’s ’08 consistency adds to the team’s point totals every night, as well.
The weekend will feature a pair of drastically different teams visiting New Haven for a pair of games the Elis need to win, beginning tonight at 7.