You know the adage. It has been uttered hundreds of times by countless college coaches and scribes.
It is tough to beat a team three times in a season.
That has to be a mantra for Yale heading into a week of practice before Ivy Madness.
The loss marked Yale’s eighth straight regular season defeat versus Harvard, but the Bulldogs have won both Ivy League Tournament matchups in that stretch, suggesting that the mantra is true.
Harvard dismantled the Elis, 83-69, before a sold-out partisan Crimson crowd of 1,636 at Lavietes Pavilion Saturday night. It was arguably Yale’s worst outing of the season.
“We didn’t play our brand of basketball,” coach James Jones said. “We weren’t focused enough.”
Harvard (21-8, 10-4 Ivy) led only 36-32 at the half after six lead changes, but the choppy flow of the game favored the Crimson. Yale (23-7, 11-3) had only three assists in the half, and a bevy of assists is one of the hallmarks of the Jones offense.
Justin Bassey led all scorers at the half with 12 points, and Yale captain Eric Monroe had another hot shooting half, leading his team with eight.
Harvard dominated the second half, starting on a 7-1 run and once opened up a lead of 75-55, further fueled by an eight-point run, starting at the 11-minute mark.
Justin Bassey paced the Crimson with 19 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the field.
Yale was led by Ivy shooting percentage leader Paul Atkinson with 23 points.
Yale had already clinched an outright Ivy League championship and as the Ivy League Tournament No. 1 seed will face No. 4 seed Penn at Lavietes Pavilion Saturday at 11 a.m. No. 2 Harvard faces No. 3 Princeton at 2 p.m., with the championship set for Sunday at noon.