The Bulldogs can now count Princeton among their Ivy League victims after defeating the Tigers 58-54 at John J. Lee Amphitheater. With the triumph, Yale moved to 14-5 overall, 5-1 Ivy League.
In a game the Bulldogs led for all but 4:40, the conclusion was far from assured. When the Tigers (11-10, 2-3 Ivy) pulled to 53-51 with 1:08 remaining, the Elis showed great resolve to see out the victory that they deserved.
Yale took control of the game with an 11-0 run over seven minutes in the middle of the first half. The run saw the Bulldogs jump from a 10-10 tie to a commanding 21-10 lead, one that they never relinquished.
The victory was doubly important for the Elis as Jeremiah Kreisberg ’14, who had been underperforming in recent games, snapped out of his slump, tallying nine timely points and taking two important charges in the first half. Senior Greg Mangano turned in his usual stellar performance, amassing a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds.
The star of the win, though, was by all accounts captain Reggie Willhite ’12, who filled the stat sheet with a 20-point, nine rebound, three assist, one steal, one block performance. In addition, Willhite’s electrifying jam with 11:41 remaining in the game ensured that the Yale team stayed energized.
Princeton came to New Haven with high hopes, having won a one-game playoff with Harvard last year on Yale’s home court that sent the Tigers to the NCAA tournament. Even those fond memories could not propel Princeton to victory tonight. However, Ian Hummer, Princeton’s star forward, surpassed 1,000 points in his Princeton career with his third point of the game.
Next weekend, the Bulldogs will take on Cornell in Ithaca and Columbia in New York City.