MEN’S BASKETBALL: At halftime, Yale trails Princeton 33–29 in tight final
After falling behind 11–0 to Princeton early in the first half of the Ivy Madness, the Bulldogs stormed back to cut the deficit to 33–29.
Photography Editor Tim Tai
PRINCETON, N.J. — At halftime, No. 1 Yale (21–7, 10–4 Ivy) trails No. 2 Princeton (20–8, 10–4) 33–29 in the Ivy Madness championship game.
Guard August Mahoney ’24 and forward Matt Knowling ’24 led the scoring for Yale, each contributing 10 points. For Princeton, star forward Tosan Evbuomwan scored 10 points, and guard Matt Allocco added nine points on 3–4 shooting from behind the arc.
The Bulldogs came out slow offensively, going scoreless for the first four minutes while Princeton rattled off 12 quick points.
But Mahoney ended the run with a three-pointer at the 14:12 mark, making it 12–3 Princeton, and Knowling, the first-team All-Ivy selection, followed it up with a nifty post move score.
The teams traded baskets for most of the half, but Mahoney tied the game 23–23 with a deep three at the 4:10 mark.
The Bulldogs took two-point leads at various points but struggled to put much distance between themselves and the Tigers, who shot 6–13 from three-point distance. Three different Tigers made shots from deep.
Guard Bez Mbeng ’25 had the chance to give Yale the lead before the half but missed a layup attempt and Princeton hurried down the court, finding Caden Pierce open for a three that extended the Orange lead to 33-29 as the buzzer sounded.
Yale received nice contributions from their bench, as forward Danny Wolf ’26 made an earlier appearance than usual and made a layup, while Yassine Gharram ’25 knocked down a three.
John Poulakidas ’25, who led all scorers in Yale’s semifinal win against Cornell, did not record a point in the half and received constant attention and double teams from the Princeton defense on the perimeter.
The Elis swept the Tigers in their two regular season matchups, including a 19-point comeback victory that ultimately was the tiebreaker for the first seed in the tournament.
The winner receives the Ivy League’s automatic bid to March Madness.