Just a little more than 48 hours after facing No. 7 Virginia, the Yale men’s basketball team squared off on Tuesday night against Pittsburgh. But the result was no different for the Bulldogs in their second Atlantic Coast Conference game this week.
Yale (2–2, 0–0 Ivy) lost its second straight game against an NCAA tournament team from last year, falling 75–70 to the Panthers (3–1, 0–0 ACC). Yale trailed by two at halftime, but allowed Pittsburgh to jump out to an 11-point lead in the second half. Despite a furious comeback late in the game, poor shooting doomed the Elis, who shot just 39.5 percent in the final 20 minutes.
The Bulldogs held their own on the glass, combining for 36 rebounds, just one fewer than the Panthers. Guard Miye Oni ’20, despite being listed at just 6-foot-6 inches, led all players with 11 of those boards. Oni also added 13 points, bouncing back from a three point performance against Virginia.
Forward Sam Downey ’17 led the Elis with 17 points on the night. The senior has carried the load in a balanced Yale offense this year, averaging 15.0 points per game through four contests. On Tuesday guard Alex Copeland ’19 and forward Blake Reynolds ’19 scored 16 and 14 points, respectively. Copeland is now Yale’s second-leading scorer despite coming off the bench in every game.
Yale took care of the basketball in its trip to Pittsburgh, turning the ball over just eight times on the night. The Elis caught fire from behind the arc, shooting 40.7 percent from three-point range compared to just 33.3 percent from the Panthers.
Pittsburgh’s top players earned their meals just two days before Thanksgiving. Forward Michael Young tallied a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Supporting the senior, forward Jamel Artis scored 20 points and guard Cameron Johnson scored 15, with 10 coming in the final six minutes to close out the game for the Panthers.
The Bulldogs looked fatigued late in the game after facing one of nation’s top teams just two days prior. Head coach James Jones has contended with a shorter bench early in the season after injuries to forward Jordan Bruner ’20 and first-team All-Ivy guard Makai Mason ’18.
Yale travels to Vermont on Saturday for a 1 p.m. tip-off.