The Yale men’s basketball team struggled over Thanksgiving break as it battled two powerful Atlantic Coast Conference opponents and a streaking Vermont team, but looked to return to its winning ways against Bryant. The Elis entered the battle of two teams with Bulldog mascots having beaten Bryant by 39 last year in New Haven.
In the previous matchup, Guards Nick Victor ’16 and Makai Mason ’18 combined for 31 points against Bryant. However, neither could play Wednesday after respective graduation and injury, and Yale (2–4, 0–0 Ivy) lost its fourth straight road game. The Bulldogs led by 15 points with 12 minutes to play in the contest, but Bryant (3–5, 0–0 Northeast) rallied to win 79–70.
Yale led for over 35 minutes of Wednesday’s game as the Bulldogs shot 53.8 percent from the field, the best of their season so far. However, free throws and turnovers killed Yale down the stretch. The Elis shot just 58.3 percent from the line and made just two of six free throws during Bryant’s late rally. Yale also turned the ball over 18 times compared to just six giveaways by Bryant.
Sophomores carried the day for Bryant as guard Nisre Zouzoua and forward Marcel Pettway combined for 47 points and 14 rebounds. The home team scored 20 points off of Eli turnovers.
Forward Sam Downey ’17 made eight of his nine field goals for Yale and finished with a team-high 16 points. Behind Downey, five Bulldogs finished with at least eight points: guards Miye Oni ’20 and Anthony Dallier ’17 both scored nine while guard Alex Copeland ’19 and forwards Blake Reynolds ’19 and Austin Williams ’20 each tallied eight points. Yale’s freshmen cleaned up on the glass for the Elis, as Oni and forward Jordan Bruner ’20 — playing in just his second collegiate game — led the team with eight rebounds apiece.
Yale’s four-game road trip concluded with Wednesday’s loss as the Elis are set to return home for a Saturday clash against Albany at 2 p.m. in Lee Amphitheater.