The Ivy season started this weekend, but Yale’s skid against Division I opponents did not stop. The Elis (5-9, 0-1 Ivy) lost an overtime contest to Brown (5-9, 1-0) Friday at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
With the score knotted at 63 and 2.7 seconds showing on the clock at the end of regulation, a buzzer-beater by Eli guard Edwin Draughan ’05 rimmed out, sending the game into overtime.
Though the Bulldogs scored the first two points of the extra session, the Bears went on a 10-0 run that put the game out of reach.
“It was an exhausting game, but that’s no excuse,” Yale forward Paul Vitelli ’04 said. “Everybody had a mishap, I thought — at least I did. It just didn’t seem we had as much focus or energy in overtime.”
After taking a one-point edge going into halftime, the Elis led 60-56 with only 1:37 left in the game. A 3-pointer by Brown’s All-Ivy point guard Jason Forte cut the lead to one. Following a free throw by Matt Minoff ’04, another Bears three — this time launched by guard Patrick Powers — gave Brown a one-point advantage with just over a minute remaining.
Yale held the ball for the final shot of regulation. Though the jumper missed the mark, the Elis retained possession after the ball went out of bounds with 2.7 seconds left and had one more chance to end the game.
Brown head coach Glen Miller was incensed that Yale was allowed that second attempt.
“[The referees] can’t look at the monitor to see who the ball went out of bounds on,” Miller said. “[On the pass into Martin] I didn’t think the clock started right away.”
Yale center Dominick Martin ’05 received the inbounds pass but could not find an opening and passed to Draughan. Draughan’s 15-foot shot was, as captain Matt Minoff ’04 said, “right there” but did not go down.
“[The last play during regulation] was actually a lob play for me,” Minoff said of the out of bounds play called by the Elis. “But my guy was expecting it.”
After a Minoff layup to start overtime, Powers continued his shooting clinic, knocking down two 3’s to give the Bears a four-point lead. A pair of free throws and a jumper by Forte extended that lead to eight. Yale would get no closer than six behind, thanks to a combined 12-of-12 overtime foul-shooting performance from Forte and Powers.
“When the other team takes 40 free throws and we take 14, and [we’re the] home team, it’s hard to win that game,” Yale head coach James Jones said.
Powers finished with 21 points and Forte led all scorers with 26. Brown forward Jaime Kilburn dropped 22, while forward Luke Ruscoe had a game-high 14 rebounds.
For the Elis, Vitelli had a career-high 22 points to go with nine rebounds. Minoff scored 15, grabbed seven boards, and added five assists. Martin gave Yale a big boost in the second half, scoring 10 points and hauling in seven rebounds in just 16 minutes, after not playing in the first half.
“That’s Coach Jones’ fault,” Jones said of not playing Martin in the first half. “[Martin] came to me at halftime and said ‘Coach, I can play.’ He showed that he’s a son of a gun.”
In the first half, Dexter Upshaw ’06 spelled Justin Simon ’04 at the center spot.
“Upshaw did a serviceable job,” Miller said. “If anything, he caused us some problems.”
Though Yale had only five turnovers in the first half, it ended the game with 15.
“Turnovers have plagued us all year,” Minoff said. “Apparently we haven’t gotten rid of that problem yet.”
Jones was also disappointed with the turnover difficulties his squad encountered in the latter part of the game, especially the three that occurred in the first two minutes of overtime. But he could not fault the Elis for lack of effort.
“I thought we played our you-know-whats off,” Jones said.
The Bears will host Yale this Friday in Providence, R.I. Brown has now won five of the last six contests between the two teams.
If Yale can take revenge in Friday’s game, Eli hopes for an Ivy championship will be resuscitated.
“[A] positive is that this is just one game,” Vitelli said. “When we lost our first game sophomore year we came back and won the [Ivy] championship.”
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