MEN’S BASKETBALL: Elis look to bounce back against Wildcats

After a disastrous shooting performance against Bryant, the Yale men’s basketball team will look for redemption on Saturday when it hosts New Hampshire.

Against Bryant on Wednesday, the Bulldogs shot 39.3 percent from the floor and just 3–21 from deep, their lowest outing of the season. Though the Elis led by four at the end of the first half, they were unable to stop Bryant on the other end of the court in the second half, falling 72–64. Overall, Bryant shot 52.0 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from distance for the game.

Head coach James Jones said the team has to be able to overcome its shooting woes to win games.

“We didn’t play well against Hartford earlier [in the year] and we were able to win the game,” Jones said. “Sometimes you have to win a game where you don’t shoot the ball well.”

Forward Justin Sears ’16 struggled with foul trouble and managed just 10 points and four rebounds. Guard Javier Duren ’15 led the team with 17 points, six boards and three assists, going 7–15 from the field despite missing all seven of his three point attempts. Before fouling out with 13 seconds left, guard Nick Victor ’16 contributed nine points, six rebounds and two steals, going 4–7 from the field.

“You want to come from losses and get better from them,” Sears said. “In the future, when we play Ivy League games and we’re playing Columbia or when we’re playing Dartmouth, we can understand that we don’t need to be shooting threes at that percentage, but attacking the basket.”

The Elis (4–4, 0–0 Ivy) are currently giving up 7.4 threes per game and allowing opponents to shoot 0.418 from behind the arc while struggling to score from three point land themselves. On Saturday, they will have to contend with a team that has several good long-distance options.

New Hampshire’s leading scorer, forward Patrick Konan, shoots 39.3 percent from distance. But the Wildcats (2–5, 0–0 AEC) boast three other players who are shooting above 35 percent on threes. While the squad has lost its last five games, it is shooting 0.386 from beyond the arc over the same span.

The Elis remain a formidable team because of their rebounding and ability to force turnovers. Yale is second in the Ivy League, behind Harvard, in steals per game (7.2) and tied with Columbia for fourth in rebound margin per game (3.4).

After Saturday’s game, the Elis will go on the road for three games, including two televised games at Providence and Saint Louis. But for now, the goal is simple. According to Duren, the Elis are determined to get better, and they know how to do it.

“Penetrating; not settling for shots,” Duren said. “Get back to our strengths of getting shots at the basket, getting more post touches. We’ll watch film and we’ll just try to get better for Saturday.”

The Elis will tip off against the Wildcats in John J. Lee Amphitheater 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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