Princeton and Yale entered Friday’s showdown at Jadwin tied atop the Ivy League standings. But by the end of the day, there was little doubt remaining over the identity of the top dog in the conference.
Yale dominated on both ends of the court Friday night, as the Bulldogs beat Princeton 88–64 in a game that was even more lopsided than the final score would indicate.
“What’s the right word?” head coach Mitch Henderson ’98 said. “Destroyed? They kicked our butts bad. Credit goes to Yale, lots of respect there. We got really humbled tonight, and thank God we get to play tomorrow.”
Whether it was Bulldog guards Azar Swain (23 points) and Eric Monroe (12 points) draining three-pointers or forward Jordan Bruner (13 points) getting his way in the interior, the Bulldogs had little trouble racking up points. They shot 57.9 percent from the field and scored 45 points in the first half alone.
Meanwhile, Princeton failed to establish itself offensively against a Bulldog defense which gave up little. Sophomore guard Jaelin Llewellyn, junior guard Ryan Schwieger, and senior center Richmond Aririguzoh — usual offensive stalwarts — combined for 10 points on 2–17 shooting, and Princeton shot just 38.8 percent from the field.
“We had no answers,” Henderson said. “[We] couldn’t guard Swain, they were great, and we were not … I’d like to say these things happen, but I don’t know. We haven’t had a game like this in years. We just got rolled.”
Yale wasted little time getting out to an early lead. Several three-pointers from Swain helped put the Bulldogs up 20–10 seven minutes into the game, and a Yale run later in the first half extended the lead further into the double digits.
Princeton struggled to score throughout the first half, and the Tigers went to the half needing to come back from a 43–25 deficit.
It was evident from early in the second half that no such comeback was in the cards for Princeton. A 7–0 Yale run caused Henderson to burn a timeout with less than three minutes elapsed as a raucous Bulldog squad celebrated in front of a silent Jadwin crowd.
Midway through the second half, Princeton’s objective shifted from beating Yale to staying rested for Saturday’s game against Brown. Llewellyn, Schwieger, and Aririguzoh went to the bench, and Yale coasted to the 24-point win.
At the halfway point of the Ivy League season, Yale controls its own destiny in the title race with a 6–2 conference record, tying for first with Princeton. That represents an impressive result for a team which lost four starters from its 2019 Ivy League championship-winning team, including NBA draft pick Miye Oni.
“There’s so much basketball left,” Henderson said. “It’s a really good opportunity for us; we’re still right there. We didn’t play well, but this is the league, and we’re going to have to figure it out.”