John J. Lee Amphitheater was certainly not lacking in drama this weekend.
One night after defeating Penn on a last-second layup, Yale played its second overtime game of the season against Princeton, which was playing with its season on the line. The Bulldogs seemed in control for most of the game, but a late surge by the Tigers sent the game into overtime.
Princeton’s Amir Bell spotted up for a 3-pointer to tie the game at 85 with 34 seconds to go in the extra period. But guard Miye Oni ’20 answered right back with a triple from the left wing, and the crowd erupted. Free throws iced it from there, and the Blue finished the season with a 94–90 victory — the first time Yale has defeated Princeton since Oni arrived last season.
With the sweep, Yale finished its season with seven wins in its last eight games, giving the team a wave of momentum before the Ivy League Tournament next weekend.
“Coach Jones told us that everything we want is in front of us when we went on a little skid earlier,” Oni said. “We listened to him, we dug down deep, we improved everyday in practice and these are the results of that.”
First years Paul Atkinson ’21 and Azar Swain ’21 played integral roles for head coach James Jones for the second consecutive evening. Atkinson dominated in the paint with 17 points and five rebounds on 7–9 shooting, while Swain bounced back from an 0–6 shooting performance against the Quakers to pour in 18 points.
In the end, however, it was Yale’s reliable star, Oni who came up in the clutch to bring his totals to 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Princeton’s three-headed attack of Amir Bell, Devin Cannady and Myles Stephens did their part in trying to extend the Tigers’ season, but even a combined 53 points from the trio was not enough to claim the fourth and final spot in the Ivy Tournament.
Yale jumped out to an 18–5 lead, but Princeton switched to a difficult matchup zone and cut its deficit to four points at the half. The Bulldogs maintained a slim lead for the majority of the second half, but the Tigers made a late run after a series of fruitless possessions for the hosts.
With Princeton’s loss, Cornell clinched the fourth and final spot in the Ivy League Tournament.