The men’s basketball team may be 1-2, but following its 84-68 victory over Penn State on Dec. 1, the team enters tonight’s game at in-state rival Sacred Heart University with confidence.
The Bulldogs look to follow up Sunday’s win and extend their winning streak to two, Ime Archibong ’03 said.
“We just want to come out and continue what we started at Penn State,” Archibong said. “We want to get back to the Yale basketball that we played last year — and that we got to last Sunday.”
Edwin Draughan ’05, the leading scorer in Sunday’s win with 18 points, told the Yale Daily News on Sunday the team’s two losses to open the season — to Oklahoma State 68-59 and Wake Forest 73-61– were not discouraging.
“We really weren’t that down after those two games,” Draughan said. “We knew that on any given day, we could’ve won those two games.”
Sacred Heart, meanwhile, still seeks its first win of the season. The Pioneers (0-3) started with a 75-64 loss to Stony Brook in overtime Nov. 23 and a 77-62 loss to Manhattan College Nov. 25. On Tuesday, they fell to nationally ranked No. 11 University of Connecticut, 116-78.
Yale faces Manhattan College on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
The statistics speak in favor of Yale for tonight’s contest.
In the Penn State game, four Elis scored 10 or more points, and the Bulldogs sunk 15 of 22 3-pointers, for 68.2 percent from behind the arc.
The Elis are making 48.4 percent of their 3-point shots so far this season. Sacred Heart averages just 26.7 percent, a figure the Bulldogs should not have much trouble surpassing if their streak holds.
In addition to the team’s 3-point successes, Draughan was named Ivy League Player of the Week. He is averaging 16.3 points and four rebounds a game.
Last year, Yale beat the Pioneers, 77-64 — the first time that the two teams met. But the Bulldogs did not play as well as they would have liked in that game, Archibong said.
“We didn’t play against them very well last year; we want to come out a little bit stronger,” Archibong said.
Sacred Heart is 1-5 all-time against Ivy League opponents, and 3-14 against in-state teams since becoming a Division I program in 1999.
Archibong said Yale goes into the game with mixed emotions.
“We’re confident going into every game, but we don’t want to be overconfident,” Archibong said. “We want to perform and still be the underdogs. We want to come out with a fight, a little bite to us.”