Yale had a 5 point lead on Vermont with 3.8 seconds left. They lost. Here’s how. Absolute insanity. pic.twitter.com/52z3UiOklb
— Mike McAllister (@McAllisterMike1) December 3, 2023
Yale men’s basketball snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in stunning fashion at Vermont Saturday night, suffering a 66-65 loss after having led 65-62 with six-tenths of a second left to play.
Then madness ensued.
Yale senior guard August Mahoney was called for a questionable push-off underneath his team’s own basket on the inbound, giving the ball back to the Catamounts.
Then on the throw-in, Vermont graduate student guard Aaron Deloney moved both his feet before inbounding the ball, prompting some to believe he traveled.
Credit to UVM for hitting the insane shot and the FT, but there were three botched calls. Flop to initiate the offensive foul on Yale inbound, Deloney traveled on the subsequent UVM inbound, and there was no contact that I saw on the improbable banked in 3. Unbelievable https://t.co/yA2YGGmQmA
— Jordan Majewski (@jorcubsdan) December 3, 2023
The thrower-in must keep one foot on or over the location at which they are presented
the ball out of bounds, according to the 2023-24 NCAA men’s basketball rules book. The thrower-in cannot leave that spot until releasing the ball. But pivot foot restrictions and the traveling rule are not in effect for a throw-in.
Deloney’s inbound pass went to Vermont junior guard TJ Long, who banked in an off-balance three as time expired. A weak foul call was called on Mahoney on the shot, sending Long to the foul line with a chance to suddenly win a game that seemed lost for the home team moments earlier.
Yale coach James Jones called timeout to ice Long, who finished as the game’s leading scorer with 23 points. It didn’t work, as Long calmly hit the game-winning free throw in his only attempt of the night.
The impossible had happened.
Yale (5-4) took its first lead at 61-60 with 55 seconds remaining on a Danny Wolf lay-in off of a Bez Mbeng steal. Then Mahoney made two free throws to make it 63-60. Yale had been behind by as many as 10 points in the first half. Every time the visitors knotted the score in the second half, Vermont had an answer.
The Catamounts (7-2) led 28-26 at the half.
Yale knotted it at 44 on an old fashioned three-point play by Mbeng, but Vermont maintained a narrow lead throughout the half until the Wolf bucket.
The loss wasted a strong defensive effort by Yale, which held Vermont to 37.9% shooting.
Mbeng led Yale with 18 points on 6-for-13 shooting. Wolf had 15 points and grabbed a Yale season-high 16 rebounds.
Yale outscored Vermont 21-12 from the free throw stripe.
The Bulldogs are home on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Fairfield.