(WTNH) — Yale won its home opener Thursday, but it wasn’t easy. The Bulldogs had to go into overtime to subdue Lehigh, 89-81, after missing a chance to clinch it on a foul shot with one second left in regulation.
With the score tied 73-73 Yale was awarded a free throw after Lehigh called a time out when it had none remaining. But Sam Downey, who was to redeem himself in overtime, missed.
With 51 seconds left in the extra session, and the score still tied at 80-80, Downey fed freshman Miye Oni, who hit a 3-pointer. After a missed jump shot by the Mountain Hawks, Tim Copeland, a sophomore, made two foul shots to give the Bulldogs a comfortable 85-80 lead.
Copeland, who came off the bench, had tied the game in regulation with a driving layup and 26 seconds left. He led Yale with 20 points, and four of the five starters were all in double figures. Downey was next with 17, followed by Oni and Blake Reynolds, each with 13, and Anthony Dallier who had 12.
Tim Kimpton, the reigning Player of the Year in the Patriot League, topped the pre-season favorite with 30 points and 11 rebounds, but he fouled out in the closing minutes as Yale took advantage of his absence.
Yale opened with a surprising 98-90 upset at the University of Washington and is now 2-0 in the young season. Lehigh is 0-2, its other loss coming at the hands of seventh ranked Xavier by only three points.
Yale picked up where it left off last season when it was undefeated in all its home games (12). Not able to rest on its laurels, a huge challenge awaits when it plays at Virginia on Sunday against the top ten ranked Cavaliers.