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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 19, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Pizzitola Sports Center (2,800) -- Providence, Rhode Island. Television: None. Home Record: Yale 3-2. Brown 4-2. Away Record: Yale 2-7, Brown 2-6. Neutral Record: Yale 1-2, Brown 0-0. Conference Record: Yale 0-0, Brown 0-0. Series Record: Yale leads, 95-50.
GAMES NOTES: Ivy League play kicks off on Saturday for a couple of teams when the Yale Bulldogs take on the Brown Bears at Pizzitola Sports Center in Providence.
Although the non-conference schedule wasn't particularly kind to Yale, the Bulldogs began to pick up some momentum as league play begins with wins in two of their last three contests. Yale is 6-11 overall on the season with losses in seven of its nine trips on the road. This is the first half of a home-and-home set with Brown that continues next Saturday at Yale.
Brown is also riding some momentum into the league schedule after earning wins in its last two contests. Brown has a slightly superior overall record on the season at 6-8. Both of the recent wins for Brown came at the Pizzitola Center where the Bears are 4-2 this season.
Yale has won five straight games against Brown including a series sweep a year ago. The Bulldogs now lead the all-time series by a 95-50 margin.
Although Yale has managed a pair of wins in its last three games the most recent came against Division III Oberlin. The Bulldogs routed the Yeomen 104-39 by shooting an incredible 69.1 percent from beyond the arc including a 13-of-21 showing from beyond the arc. Yale also forced 19 turnovers and held Oberlin to just 27.3 percent shooting.
In comparison to the rest of the Ivy League, Yale has been one of the better offensive squads in the conference. The Bulldogs are scoring 66.7 points per game this season, which is second among league foes despite shooting just 41.8 percent from the field. Yale has accomplished the scoring despite the poor shooting by getting to the free-throw line more than any team in the Ivy League (361 attempts). The Bulldogs are also the second-best rebounding squad in the conference (35.9 pg) while surrendering 67.2 points per game on the defensive end. Austin Morgan (11.4 ppg) and Justin Sears (10.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg) are the top scoring threats for Yale with Sears also the leader in rebounds.
Brown also took down a Division III opponent in its last matchup when it defeated Daniel Webster, 71-34. Brown shot at a 44.4 percent clip in the contest while nailing 11-of-23 shots from beyond the arc. The Bears doubled up Daniel Webster in rebounds (50-25) and held the Eagles to just 24.1 percent shooting.
Although Brown has two of the best scorers in the conference in Matt Sullivan and Sean McGonagill the Bears have not been one of the best offensive teams in the conference. Brown is the second-worst scoring team in the conference (61.6 ppg) while shooting at the lowest percentage (.390) in the league. Sullivan (15.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and McGonagill (14.6 ppg, 4.7 apg) are the third and fourth best scorers in the Ivy League despite each failing to shoot above 40 percent from the field. McGonagill is also third in assists in the conference. On the frontlines Rafael Maia (10.0 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and Cedric Kuakumensah (5.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg) are the top two rebounds in the conference, while Kuakumensah is the top shot blocker (2.1 pg) in the league.
A shift to league play should allow Sullivan and McGonagill to score at an even more efficient rate. Maia and Kuakumensah will be able to handle the Bulldogs on the interior as well to push Brown to its third straight win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Brown 69, Yale 62
01/19 10:32:58 ET