(WTNH)–After another weekend demonstrating how important Makai Mason is to the Yale basketball team, the generally acknowledged sophomore sensation was rewarded with his second designation this season as an Ivy League Player of the Week.
He scored 16 points against Harvard, and then repeated that total the next night in the overtime win over Dartmouth. Although his shooting average was lower than his norm, he connected on the one when it counted the most.
Trailing by two points in regulation, the point guard drove the length of the court and hit on a pull up jumper at the elbow, tying the score with 5.4 seconds left in regulation.
Insisted on finishing despite a sprained ankle
That’s only half the story. Midway in the second half, Mason suffered a sprained ankle, but would not let Coach James Jones take him out.
“I asked Makai how he was and he gave me a thumbs up several times… But fortunate for us, he was good enough to go. I wish him a healthy recovery week,” said the coach.
Jones also said, maybe half seriously and half jokingly, “If he had a concussion and his ear was falling off, I might think about (taking Mason out).”
Jones passed up a time out for Mason shot
As for the shot Mason took to tie the score, Jones said, “He asked me if I wanted to take a time out; but I decided to let him go. I know this kid has got it in him to make a play either for himself or a teammate. He’s a tough son of a gun.”
As a result, Yale won the back end of its last home weekend, 76-71, and is still in first place by a half game over Princeton. That Princeton team provided the other co-Player of the Week, Spencer Weisz.
16 points against Harvard then Dartmouth
Mason had 16 points against the Big Green, including four foul shots in the final 12 seconds. The previous night, against Harvard, he also registered 16 in the Bulldogs’ 59-50 win. The win over the Crimson was not as close as the final score indicates, as bench players from both teams finished out the game.
Mason leads his team over 26 games with 99 assists and is second in scoring with 15.7 points per game.
A complete recovery from the ankle injury is almost essential for Yale to win or tie for the Ivy League championship. Two road games against Cornell and Columbia stand in the way.
As well as Mason’s condition this weekend following his sprained ankle.