The Yale men’s basketball team completed a season sweep of Brown on Friday, winning 90–66 in a blowout that hardly resembled last week’s 77–68 matchup in New Haven.
The game, moved up a day due to the threat of Winter Storm Jonas, propelled the Bulldogs (11–5, 2–0 Ivy) to a perfect start in league play and extended the team’s win streak to six games. The Bears (5–11, 0–2) now sit with the exact opposite record after two consecutive losses to Yale.
“I thought it was one of our better-played games of the year,” head coach James Jones said. “We got back to playing how we have for most of the season against teams that we feel that we are a little better than and have more experience than. We did a really good job last night.”
While the first meeting between the two teams was characterized by its high number of fouls — the Bulldogs and Bears combined for 49 last week — Yale’s offensive production stole the show this week. Thanks to a 50-point second half and a 56.5 percent shooting clip from the floor, the Bulldogs coasted to a win in Providence.
Forward Brandon Sherrod ’16 shot a perfect 9–9 from the field en route to a career-high 24 points. Six of those points came on eight attempts from the free-throw line to complete his stellar shooting performance.
“I think a lot of it was just doing what Coach [Jones] preached this week in practice,” Sherrod said. “The guards did a great job finding the big guys — myself, [forward] Justin Sears ’16 and [forward] Sam Downey ’17. For me, I was able to get second-chance points, and that was huge.”
The bench also added 38 points, a season-high against Division I opponents, in the lopsided affair. Downey tied a career-best with 18 points and made eight of his 11 attempts from the floor, while freshmen guards Eli Lininger ’19 and Trey Phills ’19, and forward Blake Reynolds ’19 notched their first career points — two, four and eight, respectively — against a conference opponent.
Guard Anthony Dallier ’17 rounded out the bench’s efficient output, scoring six points in just seven minutes of action.
“We had a great offensive performance from our bench,” Jones said. “Dallier came in and hit a couple of big threes to help us extend the lead so I was real happy with the bench production [Friday] night.”
The collective team effort, in which the Bulldogs assisted on 21 of their 35 made field goals, overshadowed a night in which the team’s two most prolific scorers, Sears and point guard Makai Mason ’18, combined for just 12 points. Though both entered the game averaging over 16 points per game, Sears did not score a basket until five minutes into the second half and Mason shot just 2–9 from the field.
Yale’s two remaining starters filled their roles effectively in the 24-point victory. Captain and guard Jack Montague ’16 added three makes from deep as part of an 11-point and five-assist performance, and guard Nick Victor ’16 filled the stat sheet with two steals, two blocks and six rebounds, to go along with five points and three assists.
In the early going, Yale needed a few minutes to settle down before hitting its stride. Brown jumped out to a 10–5 lead during the first six minutes, and the two teams were knotted at 19 apiece with roughly six-and-a-half minutes left in the first period after Brown captain Cedric Kuakumensah drained a jump shot from beyond the arc.
However, the Bulldogs ended the half on a 21–8 run to seize momentum entering the break.
“We started controlling Brown’s offense,” Montague said. “It led to some blocks and rebounds that led to some transition points. Shutting them down on defense got us going and into our groove, and that kind of led to a great end of the first half and sparked a great second half.”
The first half run was capped off by a three-pointer from Dallier with 24 seconds remaining on the clock.
Sherrod added eight points during the critical stretch, and noted its importance on the outcome of the game.
“It was really big,” Sherrod said. “They started the first half really hot, and Sears went down with a couple fouls. We were able to weather the storm. Guys stepped up for us, especially in the first half, including Downey and Dallier.”
With a 40–27 lead at halftime, the Bulldogs were able to cruise in the final stanza, outscoring the Bears 50–39. The margin swelled to as much as 30 points in the second half, as a made jump shot from Sherrod with just under nine minutes remaining pushed the score to 74–44.
Kuakumensah paced the Bears with 13 points, while guard Corey Daugherty came off the bench to add 11. Additionally, forward Steven Spieth led all players with 13 boards.
Yale remains at home for the next two weekends, taking on four different league opponents during that period. First up is Penn, which comes to John J. Lee Amphitheater on Friday at 7 p.m.