A weekend sweep in the Ivies is always sweet. For Yale coach James Jones, it is especially sweet when it’s against historic Ivy powers Princeton and Penn.
This weekend, his Bulldogs notched a home sweep of the Ps for the seventh time in the last eight years.
Both games bore significant similarities. Princeton and Penn got off to fast starts, Yale made defensive adjustments and took large leads, only to see both opponents close the gaps but overtake the home team.
The Princeton game had its own drama independent of the game. It involved suspended – and then reinstated – senior Devin Cannady.
Princeton coach Mitch Henderson chose not to start Cannady Friday, but he led his team in minutes with 34. He had eight points on an atypical 3-for-12 shooting night. Richmond Aririguzoh led the Tigers with 17 points, many of which were in the first five minutes of the game. Jones adjusted defensively, putting Blake Reynolds on him.
Miye Oni had his best game for the Elis with 35 points on 13-for-18 from the field. It was the most points scored by a Yale player at home against another Ivy opponent since Johnny Lee scored 40 in 1958.
Azar Swain hit two key threes when the Tigers were charging late in the game. The Elis won, 74-60.
The Quakers also led early Saturday, largely on the back of AJ Brodeur, but a balanced Yale attack took over to give the Elis a 34-29 halftime lead.
Penn hit some key threes in the second half, but Yale went on a run, keyed by a monster Oni dunk and a Jordan Bruner three, to pull away and win, 78-65.
Oni had 21 points and Alex Copeland chipped in with 15.
The victory was even more satisfying since Penn throttled Yale, 80-57, in the semis of the Ivy tourney last March at the Palestra.
That was not lost on Copeland.
“We had a bad taste in our mouth from the last time we played these guys,” Copeland said.
Yale now sits at 5-1 in the Ivies and in sole possession of first place. The Elis have won 11 of their last 12 games.
Penn fell to 2-4 in the Ivies, having been led in scoring by Antonio Woods and Devon Goodman with 16 points and Brodeur with 14.
Yale travels to Columbia and Cornell next weekend.