Entering this weekend just one game behind first-place Harvard, the Bulldogs had a chance to win the Ivy League title.
After two disappointing losses, the Bulldogs will finish fourth.
Yale (19–9, 9–5 Ivy) lost a close contest at Princeton (18–11, 9–4 Ivy) 64–57 Friday and then got run out of the Palestra 68–47 by Penn (19–11, 11–2 Ivy) Saturday.
The Tigers came out roaring at home and ran out to a 23–8 lead, but the Bulldogs clawed back, cutting the deficit to nine at the half and then tying the game at 40 on forward Greg Mangano’s ’12 layup with 12:10 remaining.
The Elis were never able to regain the lead, however, as Princeton responded with a 9–0 run. Forward Ian Hummer led the spree with four of his team-high 18 points.
Yale would cut the lead to three twice within the final minute, but the Tigers hit all four of their free throws, and Hummer’s breakaway dunk off of a steal iced the game.
The loss, combined with the Crimson’s 77–70 overtime victory at Columbia, obliterated Yale’s chances for even a share of the Ancient Eight crown.
Although the Bulldogs still had a chance to finish second in the Ivy League with a win Saturday and a Penn loss at Princeton Tuesday, Quaker guard Zack Rosen squashed those hopes.
Rosen started Penn’s scoring from way out in three-point land and never let up. He led all scorers with 20 on his final regular season home game.
Down just 30–22 at the break, the Elis were ice-cold while the Quakers went on a 20-2 run to start the half. Penn led by as many as 29 points as it put itself in position to force a one-game playoff with Harvard for the Ivy League title with a win at Princeton on Tuesday.
On Saturday, captain and forward Reggie Willhite ’12 was hampered by a hip-pointer injury suffered during Friday’s game, head coach James Jones said. Willhite was held to five points Saturday after scoring ten points Friday in addition to notching 14 rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Mangano, leading the Elis’ scoring for the weekend, poured in 20 points at Princeton and ten at Penn.
CORRECTION: March 13, 2012
An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that Yale’s men’s basketball team finished third in the Ivy League. The team finished fourth.