The Yale men’s basketball team travelled to Temple Thursday night to finish 2016, a year highlighted by the Bulldogs’ first NCAA tournament victory in program history. But in spite of winning 25 games during the calendar year, the Elis fell 83–77 in Philadelphia.
After a nine day break for exams, Yale (6–5, 0–0 Ivy) struggled to find the defensive rhythm that led the Bulldogs to a four-game win streak in December when Yale did not give up more than 63 points in a game.
Temple (9–4, 0–0 American) jumped out to an early lead on Thursday. Guard Alani Moore hit his first four three-point shots to give the Owls a 17–7 advantage with 13 minutes to play in the first half. The freshman finished with a game-high 26 points.
Yale struggled to contain the Temple backcourt all night. Guards Shizz Alston and Daniel Dingle finished with a combined 35 points. However, the Bulldogs were successful in slowing down forward Obi Enechionyia, who came into the contest averaging 17.3 points per game. Enechionyia scored just three points against Yale, although the junior came down with 10 rebounds.
The Bulldogs’ rookie duo of forward Jordan Bruner ’20 and guard Miye Oni ’20 continued to impress in their freshman campaigns. Both finished with 15 points, as did forward Sam Downey ’17. The Eli big man also led all players with a career-high 17 rebounds.
Yale nearly came back in the second half. The Elis cut the Temple lead to five points after an eight-point spurt from Bruner and forward Blake Reynolds ’19. However, the Owls would not let go of the their advantage, securing the win on the free throw line. Temple shot 93.3 percent from the charity stripe and finished with a six-point victory.
The Bulldogs open 2017 with a home clash against Hartford. The in-state foes will tipoff at 7 p.m. on Jan. 2.