The Yale men’s basketball team improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 2015-16 season that it finished in the NCAA Tournament round of 32 with an 80-51 thrashing of Mississippi Valley State Sunday.
The game in the Outrigger Rainbow Classic in Honolulu wasn’t even that close.
Yale led 7-6 and rattled off an 8-0 run midway through the first half, fueled by the game’s high scorer, junior forward Matt Knowling, who finished with 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting. A three from sophomore guard John Poulakidas put Yale ahead by 25-12 at the 6:15 mark, and the Bulldogs never looked back.
James Jones’ squad led at the half by 35-21 en route to the win that dropped the Delta Devils of the Southwestern Athletic Conference to 0-3.
Yale shot 50.8% from the field and held Mississippi Valley State to 34% shooting. The Bulldogs also won the rebounding war, 41-29.
Jones appears to have settled on an eight-man rotation, which includes sophomore forward Jack Molloy, who was limited by injury to 11 games last season. Molloy played 13 minutes last night and pitched in eight points on 3-for-5 shooting.
Yale will be challenged Tuesday at midnight ET on ESPN3 by a 2-0 Hawaii team which returned three starters from the squad that went 17-11 last season.