It took almost 14 years to the date for Yale men’s basketball to get to play Colgate, and it took a trip to Moncton, New Brunswick to do it.
It was worth the wait, as Yale cruised to a 68-50 win over the Patriot League favorites in the first Atlantic Slam Tournament.
Both teams were tentative in the first half until a Matt Knowling floater put Yale (3-1) up 21-12.
Then Danny Wolf stepped up. The 7-foot sophomore hit a couple of treys to give Yale a 36-19 halftime lead over the Patriot League favorite coached by Penn alumnus Matt Langel.
Colgate (1-2) was only 1-for-13 from three in the half, and the sure-handed Bulldogs only committed two turnovers. Colgate led the country in three-point shooting last year.
“We’re going to have to play a little harder,” Yale coach James Jones, ever the perfectionist said at the half.
The second stanza brought more of the same.
Captain August Mahoney quickly hit a three to put Yale up, 39-19.
Yale led by as many as 21 in the half. Colgate cut it to 13 at 55-42 on a trey by Kyle Carlesimo, son of former Seton Hall and NBA coach PJ Carlesimo.
Yale put it away at 61-44 on an electrifying Knowling one-handed slam.
Wolf led Yale with a career-high 15 points and Mahoney chipped in with 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting.
Sophomore guard Braeden Smith led Colgate with 12 points.
”We had some things working,” Wolf said. “My shots came easily and naturally.”
“Really good defensive effort,” Jones said. “Great to see the team playing together.”
Yale faces Weber State Saturday. The Wildcats fell 62-61 to Gardner-Webb in the Atlantic Slam opener.