With one home game to play in the calendar year, the Yale men’s basketball team looked to finish 2016 without a home loss in the last 365 days. The Bulldogs took care of business against Central Connecticut State on Tuesday night to win their 18th straight home game.
Yale (6–4, 0–0 Ivy) defeated its in-state foe 90–59 at John J. Lee Amphitheater. The Elis have played stellar defense during their recent four-game win streak, giving up no more than 63 points in any of those games. The Bulldogs held CCSU (2–7, 0–0 Northeast) to just 37 percent shooting from the field while shooting 57.9 percent themselves.
“We’re doing a really good job with our rotation and being in the right spot,” head coach James Jones said. “I thought that Central did a great job of offensive rebounding the ball so we need to do a better job of doing that, but overall we were in the right place at the right time and we’ve shown that in the last few games.”
Yale shot over 50 percent from three-point range in the first half, as guards Anthony Dallier ’17 and Miye Oni ’20 both hit three threes in the first 20 minutes. Dallier did not miss a shot in the first half, scoring 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting.
Oni remained hot throughout the night, going 7-for-8 from three point range and scoring 22 points, the second most of his short career. The freshman also contributed seven rebounds for the home team.
“My teammates really got me going,” Oni said. “They found me when I was open … that’s the mantra of our team. When someone gets hot we all try to find them and be unselfish.”
Explosive guard Alex Copeland ’19 had no trouble driving to the rim Tuesday, scoring 12 points before halftime and finishing with a career-high 23 points. Showing off a variety of moves, Copeland led all players in scoring on the night.
The sophomore leads the team through 10 games with 14.5 points per game.
“It’s easy when guys like Miye are shooting the ball so well and [Dallier] hit some shots early,” Copeland said. “When we’re shooting the ball that well and we have so many threats on the floor, I have a lot of lanes on the floor.”
Forward Sam Downey ’17 was the fourth Bulldog in double figures, putting up 10 points in just 18 minutes of action.
Tuesday’s performance was not without mistakes for Yale. The Bulldogs finished the night with 14 turnovers, their sixth consecutive game with at least 12 turnovers.
Yale also struggled to contain Blue Devil guard Austin Nehls. CCSU’s leading scorer put up 19 points against the Bulldogs.
Yale has just one game remaining in 2016. The Bulldogs will travel to Temple on Dec. 22. After their meeting with the Owls, Yale has just two more games before Ivy League play begins.