Preseason Ivy favorite Yale returned to one of its comfortable road venues, Jadwin Gym, to upset the Tigers, 80-74. The Tigers have shown a propensity to dig themselves into early holes. This time the hole was too deep, the Eli sharpshooters too deadly. Yale’s 17-point lead at the half, boosted by the Tigers’ surrendering an inexcusable 1-on-2 layup after holding for the last shot, proved to be insurmountable.
In the second half, the Tigers played much closer to their preferred game, making nine of 12 from deep to get back into contention, at one point closing within two. Even when Azar Swain and Jalen Gabbidon were rested in the middle of the second half, the Tigers failed to take advantage. Yale actually added to its lead.
Jaelin Llewellyn dismissed injury concerns to fuel the Tigers’ comeback effort, canning six of 12 shots from deep and scoring 23 points. Ethan Wright and Drew Friberg went a combined 3-for-14 from beyond the arc, with most of those misses coming in the first half.
The second half shows that Princeton can certainly play with Yale but must defend better. This game demonstrates why Yale was favored to win the Ivy crown this season. Since the Tigers will spend much of February on the road, they need to find three wins to ensure their berth in Ivy Madness.