Courtesy of Dan Garcia/Yale Athletics

MILWAUKEE — No. 14 Yale trails No. 3 Purdue, 46–33, at halftime of their first-round NCAA Tournament matchup. 

Purdue guard Jaden Ivey and center Zach Edey were the driving forces behind the Boilermakers’ play in the first, as the two combined for 31 of the team’s 46 points. Ivey scored 18 points, most of them early in the half, as Purdue leaned on its interior size advantage to draw fouls and outscore the Elis in the paint, 20–8. 

Purdue attempted 19 free throws in the first, making 14. Yale attempted 0. The Bulldogs were led by 13 points from guard Azar Swain ’22 and efficient bursts of offense from forward Matt Knowling ’24 and guard August Mahoney ’24 later in the half.

Yale head coach James Jones tweaked the starting lineup in response to Purdue’s size advantage in the paint. Forward EJ Jarvis ’23 started in place of usual starting forward Isaiah Kelly ’23. At 6-foot-8, Jarvis is slightly taller than Kelly and matched up with the Boilermakers’ 7-foot-4 center Edey. The two met at center court for the tip, which Edey won, and Purdue dumped it to its center on its first possession, drawing an immediate double team from Yale.

Forward Jake Lanford ’23, who has appeared in just four games this season and is not typically in the rotation, was Yale’s first substitution off the bench. Standing at six feet and 10 inches, Lanford is Yale’s tallest player on the roster and replaced Jarvis. Kelly came in to relieve him 40 seconds later, but Lanford’s presence on the court underscored Yale’s need for height.

Purdue guard Jaden Ivey, a projected top-five pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, led the Boilermakers in the first half. Drilling two early three-pointers, he helped the Boilermakers to an 11–8 lead at the first media timeout. A three-pointer at the top of the key from Yale guard Matthue Cotton ’23 cut the Purdue lead to 15–14 before a turnaround jumper from Swain on Yale’s next possession gave the Bulldogs a 16–15 lead, their first of the game, with 13:06 to play in the first.

Purdue responded with a 10–0 run, as back-to-back threes from Ivey and Purdue guard Eric Hunter Jr. got the Boilermakers back up 25–16 less than two minutes later.

Yale was only slightly outrebounded in the first half, 16–14. But the Bulldogs were often powerless to stop Edey from collecting offensive rebounds. Edey, who finished the season with the best offensive-rebounding percentage in the sport, had seven rebounds in the first half. When Hunter Jr. missed the second end of a one-an-one with about four minutes to play, Edey lifted his arms above the crowd convened under the rim for a rebound, grabbed the ball and popped it back in the hoop for two second-chance points. 

Yale’s offense largely operated smoothly, with nine assists setting up the Bulldogs’ 15 made field goals. Consecutive baskets near the rim from Knowling and a string of seven points from Mahoney kept Yale competitive late in the half. 

Purdue shot 54 percent from the field in the first, while Yale made 48 percent of its attempts.

William McCormack covered Yale men's basketball from 2018 to 2022. He served as Sports Editor and Digital Editor for the Managing Board of 2022 and also reported on the athletic administration as a staff reporter. Originally from Boston, he was in Timothy Dwight College.