Yale exceeded its 2016-2017 single game point total Saturday afternoon against Mitchell College of New London in the John J. Lee Amphitheater of the Payne Whitney Gymnasiusm. This came after the Bulldogs almost hit 100 in a season-opening upset, 98-90, on the road against the Pac-12 Washington Huskies.
The big difference today is that its 102-41 win came against a Division III school, with a male enrollment of far under a thousand students, according to its web page.
After the Mariners took a 4-0, Yale coasted in a game that could only be justified as a tune-up for the opening of the Ivy League season on Friday against Penn in Philadelphia.
The main similarity of the two programs is that neither awards athletic scholarships. Mitchell, which competes in the comparatively little known New England Collegiate Conference, does not give free rides, a condition of being in Division III. Yale, although a Division I program, is bound by the scholarship prohibition of the Ivy League.
To make the discrepancy even greater, the visitors came into the game winless, and left with a 0-9 record. Conversely, Yale now is 8-5, and is riding its own record 20 game home victory streak, six of which are in the current season.
Mitchell’s gallant group headed home into the brunt of the first significant snow storm of the winter after playing Yale for the first time ever. Did the Mariners benefit from the experience more than Yale did from the workout? That’s hard to answer. Why these predictable mismatches are scheduled in the first place may be the better question.
To the credit of the Mitchell players and Todd Peretz, its coach of 18 seasons, they ran with Yale and played as if the game was competitive. ALthough they were in front 4-0 in the beginning, the Bulldogs turned it on and built a 48-26 halftime lead.
Yale’s breakout spark, Alex Copeland, was not in the game for precautionary reasons and should be ready to go against Penn. According to play-by-play announcer John Ryan, on the Ivy League Digital Network, he has an ankle injury.
Coach James Jones cleared his bench early, and all 11 players hit the scoring column. Five of them were in double figures, led by freshman Jordan Bruner and Noah Yates, previously of the Eli football team, each with 14.
Domenico Santiago, a past rookie of the year in the NECC, and Mack Bertram-Gregory each had 11 for Mitchell.
A surprisingly modest attendance of 739 braved snowy and icy weather conditions for the afternoon of, shall we call it, “unique” basketball. Maybe they were better off than being outside.
Ivy League Update
Meanwhile, the Ivy League race got underway Saturday night, with a pair of games, each involving Yale’s top rated competition. Princeton won at home against Penn, 62-51, and Harvard was at Dartmouth where it registered a 74-58 victory.
So going into the coming weekend, when everybody plays, Yale (0-0) is tied for third place, a half-game behind Princeton (1-0) and Harvard (1-0).