With 13 minutes to play, it looked like the Yale men’s basketball team was losing its grip against Brown. After a close first half at John Lee Amphitheater, the Bears established a double-digit lead and the Elis’ backs were against the wall.
But then the Bulldogs found a second gear, going on an electric 23–1 run to seize control of the game.
Similar to last Friday’s game against Brown (10–10, 1–3 Ivy) in which forward Miye Oni ’20 secured the Yale (11–6, 3–1) victory by making four straight threes, the freshman again stamped the comeback with perhaps the dunk of the season. The slam gave the Elis a lead which they would not lose as they secured an 85–75 victory, sealing a season sweep of Brown. Guards Anthony Dallier ’17 and Trey Phills ’19 propelled Yale with career-high performances, netting 30 and 16 points, respectively.
“It was great getting that crowd support,” Phills said. “We’ve been on the road for a bit so people were just excited for us to be back at home. We haven’t lost in a while so it was just electric and fun to be a part of.”
The Bears took a 40–39 lead into halftime thanks to 15 first-half points by forward Steven Spieth and 13 by guard Obi Okolie, Brown’s two leading scorers from the first matchup. Spieth hit his first three three-pointers but would go on to make just 1–6 for the rest of the game. Spieth found his midrange game, however, finishing with 22 points.
Outside of Spieth, Brown got solid contributions from its starting backcourt in Okolie, who netted 18, and Tavon Blackmon, who scored 16. The Bears shot 60.7 percent from the field in the first half, but eight turnovers prevented them from expanding their lead past five. Brown finished the game shooting just 42.6 percent from the field.
“We did a really good job getting some stops,” head coach James Jones said. “I thought Brown played extremely well [Friday] and we’re just fortunate to get the win.”
Last weekend Yale bullied the Bears in the low post, outscoring them 42–26 in the paint as forward Sam Downey ’17 dropped 26 points and the Elis outrebounded Brown by 16 boards. In round two, Yale secured just one more rebound than Brown, but got 64 points combined from its guards.
In addition to the career nights from Dallier and Phills, guards Alex Copeland ’19 and Eric Monroe ’20 contributed off the bench. Copeland had eight points and Monroe hit a corner three that sparked Yale’s 23–1 run in the second half.
Dallier’s career night was an all-around performance, as the captain secured six rebounds, seven assists, four steals and went 15–18 from the free throw line as part of his 30 total points. Phills was also a perfect 9–9 from the line. Yale’s clutch foul shots — which were crucial in completing the comeback — came against a team in Brown that ranked atop the Ivy League in free throw shooting.
“[When we were losing] we talked about staying together,” Dallier said. “We were trying to correct some things we did wrong, but most of it was ‘stick together and keep fighting’ because we still had a chance to win the game.”
While the Elis did not dominate the rebounding battle as they anticipated, they still asserted themselves in the paint with an emphatic 10 blocks as a team. These came courtesy of forward Jordan Bruner ’20, who had an astounding six on his own. Downey and Oni added two each. Downey was also a perfect 5–5 from the field.
After playing just six games in the month of January, the Elis resume doubleheaders in which they will play two Ivy League opponents each weekend. First up are Columbia on Friday night and Cornell on Saturday, both away from New Haven.