With its second win of the weekend, the Yale Men’s Basketball team climbed from sixth to third in the Ivy League standings in just two days.
After an 88–84 victory over Columbia last night, the Bulldogs returned to John J. Lee Amphitheater and defeated Cornell 74–65, controlling the game from the opening tip to the final whistle. The Big Red made it a close contest with strong pushes at the end of both halves, but a dominant performance from guard Miye Oni ’20 and the Eli offense sealed the deal for Jones’ team.
“We were focused on paying attention to the details and coming out with a big win,” Oni said. “We knew that if we just executed what our coaches’ game plan and played hard defense that we would win.”
Guard Trey Phills ’19 also put on a dominant display, but his came on the defensive side of the ball. After locking up Columbia point guard Mike Smith last night, Phills once again drew the premier assignment on defense as he matched up against the top scorer in the Ivy League, Matt Morgan.
The two have a history dating to high school — both are from the Charlotte area — and Phills got the best of the Big Red guard tonight. Despite foul trouble, he held Morgan to 5–15 shooting and without a make from beyond the arc.
The Bulldogs were far more successful from long range this weekend after shooting 1–19 from distance against Penn last weekend. A night after making 14 triples, the Blue hit another 11, including two crucial attempts on consecutive possessions after the Big Red cut the deficit to 59–54.
With just under three minutes remaining, Cornell had inched its way back into the game, but Oni knocked down the first of the two big shots and then assisted on the second one to put Yale firmly in control with a 10-point lead.
For the second straight night, the Bulldog offense came storming out of the gates, led again by the all-around efforts of Oni. The sophomore guard started his evening with a posterizing slam over two Big Red defenders and went on to stuff the stat sheet with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists.
Oni powered an offense that continued to share the ball after a 27-assist performance on Friday night — 21 of Yale’s 25 field goals against the Big Red came off of assists. Cornell employed an aggressive zone defense and pressed the entire game, but this did not faze the Bulldogs for most of the contest.
After building a 14-point lead in the first half, including a stretch of eight consecutive points from rookie guard Azar Swain ’21, the Eli offense went cold. Cornell closed out the first half on a 10–0 run, holding the Blue scoreless for the final 6:49 of the first frame to cut the deficit to just four points.
The Bulldogs did not trail in the second half, with their lead as large as 11 and as small as one. Forward Stone Gettings notched 13 of his game-high 20 points in the final 20 minutes.
The Elis will travel to Dartmouth and Harvard next weekend as they embark on their second and final round through Ivy League competition.