Temperatures in Providence, R.I., dipped to a frigid 20 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday. Inside the Pizzitola Sports Center, the Elis were almost as cold as they fell to Brown in their Ivy League opener.
Yale (6–12, 0–1 Ivy) shot just 32.8 percent (19–58) from the floor on the way to a 65–51 loss to the Bears.
Brown (7–8, 1–0) led 33–24 at halftime and was able to extend its lead to 49–28 on a Sean McGonagill 3-pointer five minutes into the second period. Forward Greg Kelley ’14 helped power the Bulldogs back into the game with seven points in a 14–0 run that cut the lead to seven, but Yale was never able to inch closer.
“We didn’t play with enough urgency in the second half,” Kelley said. “We didn’t have two consecutive possessions where we ran our motion [offense] the right way.”
Head coach James Jones added that the Bulldogs hurt themselves with poor ball movement. Yale notched only four assists on 19 made baskets in the game.
Jones contrasted the team’s “nonexistent ball movement” with its strong effort on the boards. Yale outrebounded Brown 40–34 and limited the Bears to just seven offensive rebounds. He was less pleased, however, with Yale’s perimeter defense.
“We need to contain penetration and improve our ball screen defense,” Jones said. The Bears shot 40 percent (8–20) from beyond the arc, above its season average of 34.6 percent.
Jones added that most of Brown’s eight 3-pointers were the results of kick-outs off of penetration in the lane.
Kelley agreed, saying that Yale’s defense was often caught “overhelping” on penetration, which led to open shooters on the perimeter.
Center Will Childs-Klein ’15 said that, in addition to Brown’s shooting, the Bulldogs were hurt by the Bears’ aggressive big men — particularly center Rafael Maia.
“He’s a tough player,” Childs-Klein said in a message to the News. “He’s a big guy who really chases the ball hard on the offensive glass.”
Although he was limited to four rebounds — half of his season average of 8.1 per game — Maia scored 10 points and constantly battled with Yale’s bigs. Childs-Klein said that the Bulldogs will have to work hard to limit his touches when the teams face off again next Saturday.
In addition to Maia, McGonagill and guard Matt Sullivan led Brown in scoring with 20 and 13 points, respectively. Brown had four double-digit scorers compared to just one for Yale.
That one scorer was Kelley, who finished with a team-high 11 points. His efforts earned him a spot on the Ivy League Honor Roll for the weekend. He credited his recent success to taking advantage of the minutes he has been given.
“I’m just trying to shoot with more confidence,” Kelley said. “I’m also crashing the boards more aggressively, trying to pick up points on second chances and broken plays.”
Yale gets a chance at revenge when the Elis host Brown at the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Saturday at 7 p.m.