After a defensive stalemate in the first half, both Princeton’s and Yale’s coaching staffs will be telling their players at halftime they are 20 minutes away from clinching a birth to the NCAA tournament. Princeton leads 31–29 heading into the half, despite trailing for most of the first 20 minutes.
The Bulldog defense held the regular season champions to just 14 points in the first 12 minutes. Princeton, the conference’s best three-point shooting team, made just four threes in the half. Yale limited the Ivy League Player of the Year, Tiger forward Spencer Weisz to just three points and two assists in the opening period.
Forward Sam Downey ’17 led the Elis with eight first-half points. Yale led for almost 15 minutes of the half before a late Princeton run. A 7–0 run midway through the period highlighted the Yale first half. After Weisz’s only points of the half gave Princeton a quick lead, guard Alex Copeland ’19 hit a three that was followed by a dunk from guard Trey Phills ’19. Copeland then drove to the rim and fed Downey for a layup.
Free throws may decide the game down the stretch, and going just 2–4 in the first half does not bode well for the Elis, who missed 11 foul shots yesterday against Harvard.