Yale opens defense of its Ivy League hoop crown with routine 68-60 win over Penn at the Palestra

Oni has been outstanding for the Bulldogs all season long. (AP Photo/Fred Vuich)

Yale, the defending Ivy League Basketball champion, got off to a successful start in the new season Friday night with a road win, 68-60, over Penn in the Palestra. The Bulldogs never trailed, and were only tied twice.

Miye Oni, one of Yale’s highly touted freshmen, was the big difference. He was the game’s high scorer with 18 points. He also led with nine rebounds. Oni was 3-4 shooting three pointers and 5-7 all told. He was also 5-7 from the foul line.

The game, as the old saying goes, was not as close as the score would indicate. The Quakers scored the last five points, two coming on a steal and an uncontested basket at the buzzer as Yale coasted home.

The Bulldogs led by just 34-32 at the half, after Penn made its move to tie the score 27-27 and 29-29. The second half was all Yale. A rare four-point play by Oni brought the lead to a very comfortable 16 points, 66-50, with just under four minutes left.

Alex Copeland, who missed the last game with an ankle injury, picked up 12 points while Anthony Dallier and Blake Reynolds had 11 for the winners.

Penn, now 0-2 in the league,had Jackson Donahue and Aj Brodeur sharing the honors, each with 13.

Yale hopes to end the Ivy season in the same venue as it started it tonight. The first league tournament will take place in the Palestra between the top four teams. Much more than tonight’s attendance of 2,903 should be there for those sessions in March.

Coach James Jones and the Eli players had no time to rest on their laurels. After the game they headed down the New Jersey Turnpike to Princeton, where the pre-season Ivy favorites await. The Tigers, who beat Penn in their opener, upped their record to 2-0 tonight by pasting Brown, 97-66.

Yale is now tied for second place with Harvard, each team 1-0. The Crimson was not scheduled tonight.

In the first game of the double header at the Palestra, the Penn women defeated Yale 66-52.

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