By Kevin Sweeney
After the devastating news that Yale star point guard Makai Mason was out for the season, I counted the Bulldogs out in the highly competitive Ivy League.
After tonight, Yale might be favorites once again.
The Bulldogs went to Seattle and controlled the game from the opening tip, knocking off Washington 98-90. Freshman guard Miye Oni began his Yale career with a bang, putting up 24 points and 6 rebounds in his first collegiate game.
Despite not having a single player who scored more than 6 points per game last season, Yale started strong, using a 17-4 run to take a 29-11 lead with 7:48 to go in the first half. Washington had no answer for Oni or sophomore forward Blake Reynolds, who put up 14 of his 19 points in the first half. Despite the Huskies heating up as the half dwindled to a close, Yale carried a 14-point lead into the break.
Yale continued to keep the Huskies at bay as the second half got underway, but Washington freshman sensation Markelle Fultz began to take over the game, helping the Huskies to cut the deficit. Fultz recorded 24 points in the second half, demonstrating why he is one of the top prospects in the 2017 NBA Draft. A jumper by Fultz cut Washington’s deficit to 4 with 5:32 to go, triggering a time-out by James Jones and the Bulldogs. However, that was the closest the Huskies would come, as Yale would score the next 4 points to regain control.
Sam Downey had 22 points and 7 rebounds for the Bulldogs, while Alex Copeland contributed 14 off the bench. Matisse Thybulle had 20 points and 6 blocks for the Huskies.
Yale continues their difficult start to the season with a game against Lehigh on Thursday. Washington will look to turn things around on Thursday when they take on Cal State Fullerton.