Yale men show no rust, leave Cornell in dust in Bulldogs’ Ivy opener

It would be logical to expect that Yale would be down at the half to the high-flying Cornell offense if Azar Swain did not score.

But even with Yale’s leading scorer not recording any tallies in the first stanza, the Bulldogs still took a 44-33 into the locker room.

And it ballooned to 27 after that as the Elis, playing for the first time since Dec. 28, thrashed Cornell, 96-69, at John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Yale’s previous three games had been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns and protocols.

Cornell (9-6, 1-3) ranked ninth in the nation in scoring entering the game.

Yale coach James Jones played 12 Elis in the first 14 minutes of the game and a total of 14. Depth is clearly not an issue this year for Yale (7-8, 1-0).

“We have a lot of guys who can contribute,” Jones said.

Matt Knowling and Bez Mbeng, both first-year players, started for Yale.

Five Elis scored in double figures, paced by 18 from Isaiah Kelly on 8-for-11 shooting from the field and 17 from Knowling. No Eli played more than 27 minutes. Cornell was paced in scoring by Sarju Patel and Sean Hansen with 11 points.

Knowling grabbed eight rebounds as Yale won the rebounding war, 41-25.

Swain finished with 12 points on 4-for-14 shooting.

The game was delayed by nearly 20 minutes due to a shot clock malfunction, causing the Yale staff to roll out a portable shot clock under one basket. The game was played before no fans due to Yale health and safety protocols.

Yale has won 16 straight games over the Big Red.

Yale travels to Providence on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to take on Brown. Cornell will host Columbia at Newman Arena.