The Bulldogs entered their matchup against Stony Brook University as 15-point favorites, but found themselves leading by just two points heading into the final minute of Saturday night’s game.
Yale (8–1, 0–0 Ivy) managed to come away with a 77–72 victory against a struggling Stony Brook squad (2–6, 0–0 CAA) thanks to clutch free throw shooting down the stretch.
“It was a gutsy performance from our guys to pull it out,” head coach James Jones told the News. “Our execution down the stretch was pretty good, and when we had to make a play, we made it. We hit our free throws and got some key defensive stops.”
Forward E.J. Jarvis ’23 scored a career-high 17 points, shooting 7-12 from the field, with most of his attempts coming in the low post.
“It felt great,” Jarvis said. “Anytime one of the guys has a career night, everyone gets super excited for them. It just so happened to be me tonight. Shots were falling and it’s always a good feeling when that happens.”
EJ gets to the basket and has 13 points.
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The Elis seemed in control for most of the second half, going up 65–52 on a Jarvis layup with 10:03 remaining. The Seawolves, though, kept themselves in the game thanks to a barrage of three-pointers, going on a 13–2 run to make it 67–65 with 7:18 to play.
Fresh off of a record-breaking win against Howard University in which they hit 18 three-pointers, Yale struggled to generate quality looks from behind the arc, making just six of an attempted 23 threes. Guard John Poulakidas ’25, who entered the game with a three-point percentage above 50 percent, missed all three of his attempts from deep, but still added 11 points in the win.
After the game, Jarvis noted the challenges posed by Stony Brook’s defense.
“They denied our shooters which made it a bit more difficult to score in our usual ways,” Jarvis said. “We had to adjust our offense and really get into gaps and take up space so we could get the shots we wanted.”
By contrast, Stony Brook looked comfortable shooting the ball in their home arena, making 11 of their 20 three-point attempts. Guard tandem Tyler Stephenson-Moore and Aaron Clarke wreaked havoc on the Bulldogs defense, scoring 21 and 20 points respectively.
“Stony Brook played really well,” Jones said. “They shot the ball really well. We did a poor job defending a couple of their shooters.”
The 72 points were the most scored against the Blue and White all season, who entered the matchup allowing just 51.9 points per game this season, the third fewest among all of Division I basketball’s 352 teams.
Stony Brook head coach Gene Ford was pleased with his team’s performance after the game.
“We looked the part tonight, and it was the first time this season we looked like we could be a good team,” Ford said. “We played well, just wasn’t well enough to beat a really really good Yale team.”
The Seawolves are ranked 340th in the KenPom College Basketball ratings, one of the worst in all of Division I and 250 spots below 90th-ranked Yale.
Despite the win, the Bulldogs failed to beat the Vegas odds for the first time all season, having exceeded expectations by previously going 6–0 against the spread.
Yale will need to play better as they approach their toughest two-game stretch of the season, facing off against Butler University Wednesday night and then traveling down to Lexington, Kentucky for a game against the 16th-ranked Wildcats.
“With our only loss being to another high major, we’re definitely looking for a chance to redeem ourselves and pick up a road win in Indy,” Jarvis said. “These next two games between Butler and Kentucky are going to be huge for us and I think we can go 2–0 if we defend, rebound and share.”
Wednesday’s game against Butler will begin at 6:30 p.m and will be televised on Fox Sports 1.