In sports they say it’s tough to defeat an opponent multiple times in one season. The men’s basketball team will try to do it twice in a week.
Coming off a 70-62 victory over Brown (6-9, 0-1 Ivy) last Friday night in Providence, R.I., the Bulldogs (6-9, 1-0) look to start the Ivy League season 2-0 for the first time since the 2001-’02 season and sweep the Bears for the first time in a decade when Brown visits the John J. Lee Amphitheater tonight at 7 p.m.
The Elis are playing their best basketball of the season and are riding the momentum of a four-game winning streak — a victory tonight would give the Bulldogs their first five-game winning streak since the 2006-’07 season.
In last Friday’s road triumph, this week’s co-Ivy League Player of the Week, guard Alex Zampier ’10, put the team on his shoulders, pouring in 15 of his team-high 19 points in the second half. At one point, he scored seven in a row and erased the Elis’ two-point halftime deficit.
Trailing by as much as 11 early in the first half, last weekend’s win was the team’s second consecutive comeback effort. The Elis prevailed against Hartford (6-13), 71-63, after being down by nine at the half on Jan. 10.
Brown’s forward Matt Mullery, the fourth-leading scorer in the Ancient Eight (15.9 points per game), led the Bears last weekend. The 6-foot-8 junior poured in a game-high 23 points and eight rebounds in 38 minutes.
The benches were key for both teams in last week’s contest and may prove to be a difference-maker again tonight. The Bears’ bench contributed just 12 minutes on the floor and zero points, while all four Yale players off the pine played at least 11 minutes and combined to score 11 points.
The result was that by the end of the game, Brown’s starters didn’t have their legs and made it easier for the Bulldog starting five to impose their will down the stretch.
“I thought our bench was great,” head coach James Jones said after the game. “Everybody scored off the bench, and having more guys than they did was helpful for our starters.”