It was the Azar Swain show on Saturday night at John J. Lee Amphitheater.
The junior guard torched Cornell for 25 points on 8-for-14 shooting and 6-for-8 from three-point land as Yale beat Cornell, 86-71, before a crowd of 1,506. Cornell hung tight in the first half and was only behind at the end of the half by a 42-39 score. The Big Red made a run in the second half, but whenever things got tight, Swain seemed to come up with a big three.
Yale has achieved a stellar record (16-4, 4-0 Ivy) thanks to contributions from as many as nine players on both the offensive and defensive end, and last night was no different. Ivy field-goal percentage leader Paul Atkinson posted 24 points on 10-for-15 shooting and defensive specialist Jalen Gabbidon added 12 points.
Yale shot 55.6% from the field and outrebounded the Big Red, 37-21, leading to numerous second-chance points. Cornell (4-13, 1-3) never led.
“This was their best shooting performance of the year by far,” Yale coach James Jones said of Cornell.
“We are going to take everyone’s best shot each time out,” Swain said.
Cornell, not known for being a three-point shooting juggernaut, made 13 of 27 shots from long range, including 3-for-7 from Jimmy Boeheim and 3-for-3 from Bryan Knapp. Boeheim finished with 17 points to once again lead his team.
But Yale shot an even better clip from three-point range, 55.6%, on 10-for-18 shooting, and overall from the field (55.6% on 30-for-54 shooting versus Cornell’s 44.9% on 22-for-49 shooting).
Yale now sits atop the Ivy standings, tied with upstart Princeton.
Yale plays Harvard at home on Friday and Cornell hosts Princeton.