Miye Oni leads Yale men’s basketball to first win of the season

Courtesy: Yale Sports Publicity

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale took out the frustration of a difficult opening weekend on South Carolina State in a big way in Tuesday’s home opener. Miye Oni scored 20 points and Noah Yates added a career-high 16 off the bench as the Bulldogs rolled to an impressive 86-54 victory at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Yale, who dropped games at Creighton and Wisconsin – both NCAA Tournament teams a year ago – to open the season, held South Carolina State to 29.8 percent shooting from the field and forced 24 turnovers.

“We were better defensively than we’ve been,” said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs.

There were plenty of contributors. All 12 players that saw action scored. Eric Monroe and first-year Azar Swain each added eight points. Paul Atkinson and Blake Reynolds scored six, and Alex Copeland, Eric Anderson and first year Jameel Alausa had five points apiece.

Yale dominated virtually every statistical category, including rebounding where the Bulldogs had a 47-34 edge. Atkinson led the way with 10 boards, while Reynolds and Oni each contributed seven.

The Bulldogs made 13 three-pointers, compared to one for South Carolina State, and Yale’s bench outscored SCSU’s reserves 45-30.

Yale (1-2) put on a clinic in the first half, and Oni was the star. He was 5-of-8 from the field and made 7-of-8 free throws en route to scoring 19 points.

“I just came out and tried to be aggressive,” Oni said. “I felt I was too passive in the first two games.”

The Bulldogs scored the first five points of the game and had a 28-9 lead after 10 minutes.

Yale’s biggest advantage was 48-12 with 3:31 left in the first half.

South Carolina State (0-3) never got closer than 25 in the second half.

Damani Applewhite paced South Carolina State with 13 points.

Injuries to Jordan Bruner and Austin Williams have given Yates more of an opportunity to contribute, and he has taken full advantage. In three games, he is averaging 10.7 points, which is third on the team.

“The mentality we have is next man up,” said Yates, who was 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. “Make the most of your opportunities and do what you can to help the team.”

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