New Haven, CT – The Saturday night Ivy league battle brought the 16-9 Cornell Big Red squaring off against the 18-17 Yale Bulldogs at Lee Amphitheater on the Yale Men’s Basketball Senior night. The Bulldogs have already clinched a spot in the Ivy League Tournament and are vying for a share of the regular season title with a victory over the Big Red and losses by Princeton and Penn. A win tonight could also produce a significant achievement for Yale head coach James Jones as he seeks to become only the second Ivy coach to win 200 league games, joining Princeton’s Pete Carril, who led the Tigers to 310 league victories.
Cornell got out to a quick start with a 7-2 lead with early offensive production and some Bulldog mistakes on defensive assignments. Yale quickly battled back and tightened up their operations with EJ Jarvis throwing down a thunderous baseline dunk and a three-point bucket to surge to a 21-17 Yale lead with 8:42 left in the half.
Cornell’s offense began to be sporadic although they played solid team defense. The Big Red was given fits as the continuous answer for Yale was the EJ Jarvis show. The first place Yale Bulldogs showed why they currently share the division lead with sound basketball throughout this first half. Cornell looked for answers from their bench, however still found themselves trailing Yale at the half by a score of 34-28. Jarvis of Yale lead all scorers at the half with 18 points.
The second half saw Yale pull away quickly under the leadership of its backcourt point guard Bez Mbeng and team captain Michael Feinberg to a 50-33 commanding. Sophomore Guard Nazir Williams continued to exploit opportunities and produce offense for Cornell along with junior Guard Isaiah Gray who found himself in foul trouble. The Big Red went to a half court trapping offense that momentarily had the Bulldogs off kilter, however Yale found the response in Jarvis who exploded in the second half. Cornell as a team compiled 11 steals on the night
Yale then erupted with a multitude of powerful dunks and a Jarvis three pointer to expand to a 76-56 with less than two minutes to go. In the end the Bulldogs shot 54% from the field and won the overall rebound battle 33-26. On their homecourt and their Senior night, Yale showed an array of offensive options and dominating defense that produced a decisive 76-58 victory. August Mahoney contributed 12 points and 7 rebounds while EJ Jarvis had a big night with double-double of 34 points and 10 rebounds and 3-of-4 from three-point range.
The win resulted in the 200th league win for Yale head coach James Jones who now has over 360 career victories. Yale now maintains three-way tie for first in the Ivy League with Penn and Princeton with a final game remaining before the Ivy League Tournament.