It was new school versus old school on Saturday night as the Yale men’s basketball team squared off against Princeton with both teams looking to remain undefeated in Ivy League play. The Bulldogs started just one upperclassman on the road while the Tiger starting five included three seniors and two sophomores.
The veteran presence proved the difference for Princeton (10–6, 3–0 Ivy) as the Tigers beat Yale (9–6, 1–1) 66–58. The young Bulldogs turned the ball over 14 times compared to just nine giveaways by Princeton. Guard Alex Copeland ’19 put up a game-high 21 points in the losing effort.
Both offenses struggled early in the contest. Princeton shot just 28.6 percent from the field in the first half, while Yale played just a few ticks better, hitting 33.3 percent of its field goals. The Tigers made just one of their 15 three point attempts in the first half.
Guards Trey Phills ’19 and Miye Oni ’20 were both limited in the first half as they each battled foul trouble. The Elis also faced the Tigers without the assistance of captain and guard Anthony Dallier ’17, who could not play Saturday night because of illness. Dallier scored 11 points in Yale’s Friday night victory over Penn.
Forward Noah Yates ’18 saw substantial minutes for the second straight night. The former Yale football player combined for 17 minutes on the weekend, and contributed three points on Saturday night.
Yale surged out to a five point lead to start the second half. Phills, known more for his defensive prowess, scored six points in the first eight minutes of the half as Yale regained its advantage. But the Tigers came storming back and took a 48–42 lead with 8:06 to play in the game.
Though the Elis found a way back into the game as their defense generated stop after stop, taking a brief one-point lead with three minutes to play, Princeton’s veterans took over in the final three minutes. Junior guard Amir Bell scored eight points to fuel an 11–0 Tiger run and senior forward Spencer Weisz hit a three-point shot with 1:10 that knocked out the Bulldogs. Bell finished with 17 points in just 22 minutes of action off the bench.
Guard Myles Stephens led the Tigers with 19 points. Yale forward Jordan Bruner ’20 put up 15 points and six rebounds off the bench to go along with Copeland’s 21. Forward Blake Reynolds ’19 led all players with a career-high nine rebounds.
Yale’s road loss to Princeton last season was the only defeat of its Ivy League championship campaign. The Bulldogs will stay on the road next weekend to face Brown.