After five games on the road, the men’s basketball team is bringing its high-octane offense home to New Haven in its 2001-02 debut at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
The Elis (2-3) will host the Sacred Heart Pioneers (1-1) at 6 p.m. tonight in the first half of a doubleheader that will feature the women’s basketball team taking on Central Connecticut State University in the nightcap. The Bulldogs’ plan this year is to push the ball up the floor as much as possible, and right now it’s working. For the first time in school history, Yale has scored over 80 points in four straight games.
With a speedy lineup and a deep bench, it is not surprising that a fast-paced Yale offense is putting up 84 points per game, tops in the Ivy League. More impressively, the somewhat undersized team, which has no one in the regular rotation taller than 6-foot-8, is also leading the league in rebounding with 35.4 rebounds per game and a plus-5.8 margin on average. Yale is second in 3-point shooting percentage in the league, connecting on nearly 42 percent of its attempts from beyond the arc.
These three ingredients — running the floor, rebounding and perimeter shooting — have been a successful recipe for the Bulldogs as they have knocked off Penn State and Stony Brook in addition to giving George Washington University an overtime scare at home in its last three games.
While the offense has succeeded, the defense has suffered somewhat. Opponents are shooting 45 percent, including 41 percent from 3-point territory. The Elis are also committing too many fouls — opponents have shot 166 free throws to Yale’s 114 attempts.
In their last game against GW, a 116-102 overtime loss, the Bulldogs sent the Colonials to the charity stripe 50 times as six players fouled out in the process. Yale battled back from an 11-point deficit in the game’s final minute to force overtime, but the Colonials made all 20 of their free throw attempts in the extra period to secure victory.
Sacred Heart’s lone win came Nov. 18 at home against Stony Brook, 77-72. The Bulldogs beat Stony Brook 82-62 last Friday.
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