NEW HAVEN – Yale found a gear which it probably didn’t know that it had Friday night and a scoreboard-watching crowd added to the excitement at Payne Whitney Gym.
The Bulldogs were down to Princeton 47-39 with 13:41 remaining and then all of a sudden they went on a 42-13 offensive tear to defeat the Tigers, 81-60.
Princeton was defenseless against the onslaught. Justin Sears refused to be denied during that stretch, which James Jones characterized as, along with an earlier season win over Lafayette, the best stretch in a game of the season. Sears finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds and seemed to be all over the court.
There was another plot taking place in the stands, as many in the crowd, including the Yale band, were following the Harvard-Cornell game which started a half-hour before Princeton-Yale.
The Yale band started a derogatory chant about Harvard with about three minutes remaining in the Yale game and with about a minute left, the public address announcer let it be known that Cornell had authored the upset win. That drew the largest applause of the evening and the Yale team, with a victory in hand, was clearly delighted. Jones did not let the emotion of the minute get to him, as he still had a game to coach.
Yale moved to 20-8, marking the sixth time in school history that the Elis had won 20 games or more. The win pulled Yale even with Harvard atop the conference standings at 9-2.