Yale went and grabbed a big scalp for the Ivy League. St. Francis Brooklyn finally played a game and Seton Hall crushed Central Connecticut.
Most Notable Game:
Yale 98, Washington 90
At the beginning of the week it was announced that Makai Mason would miss the entire season for the Bulldogs. So what did Yale do? It went across the country to the gym of a Pac 12 team and won in quite convincing fashion. The Bulldogs led by 14 points at halftime and then held on for the 8-point victory in Seattle. Freshman Miye Oni led the way with 24 points. The 6-foot-6 guard shot 9-14 from the field, including 4-6 from three and also grabbed six rebounds.
But the reason Yale scored 1.31 points per possession is because the Bulldogs once again dominated a high-major opponent on the offensive glass, grabbing 46% of their misses. Yes, Washington blocked 15 shots, but a number of them went out of bounds, leading to eight team offensive rebounds for Yale. Shooting 8-18 (44%) from three also helped, but Washington shot 8-20 (40%), so it’s not like this was just a mid-major team hitting the three-point lottery ticket. If the remainder of Yale’s rotation can stay healthy the Bulldogs should be able to compete with Princeton and Harvard at the top of the league. What more could they ask for?
New York Games:
N.C. State 86, St. Francis Brooklyn 61
A new era of St. Francis Brooklyn basketball is upon us as the Terriers played a guard oriented attack in their season opener against N.C. State. SFC had three players in double-figures, all guards. Glenn Sanabria led the way with 14 points in 32 minutes. Yunus Hopkinson had 13 points and freshman Rasheem Dunn scored 12 points in 23 minutes off the bench. St. Francis’ defense definitely struggled against a young Wolfpack lineup. N.C. State scored 1.28 points per possession by hitting 65% of its two-point shots, going to the line 36 times, and grabbing 50% of its misses. The rebounding is an important question mark for the Terriers, as they’ll be forced to small a lot this season. Of course not many NEC lineups will have the ability to punish SFC on the glass.
Seton Hall 82, Central Connecticut 58
The Pirates went by the exact script they’ll need all season as Khadeen Carrington scored 18 points in 24 minutes and Angel Delgado added a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds in 25 minutes. Myles Powell had 13 points off the bench. The freshman from Trenton, NJ had scored seven points in the season opener against Fairleigh Dickinson. It was a little bit of a crash back to earth for CCSU after a win over Hartford to open the season. Mustafa Jones led the Blue Devils with 11 points.
The Rest of Division I:
Kentucky 93, Canisius 69
Canisius kept things interesting for most of the first half in Lexington and then Kentucky’s overwhelming athletic talent ended the contest. Kassius Robinson scored 16 points to lead the Golden Griffins. Phil Valenti had 12 points and seven rebounds, but also six turnovers—which is why he posted only a 77 offensive rating. Jermaine Crumpton also had 13 points. Overall it was a solid debut for head coach Reggie Witherspoon. Canisius certainly won’t be the last team that fails to contain De’Aaron Fox and Isaiah Briscoe. The Griffs should find MAAC foes much easier to control.
Maine 80, Longwood 58
After losing at Virginia Tech at Friday, Maine earned a split of its Virginia trip by blasting Longwood. Ilker Er, a 6-foot-6 forward from Turkey, scored 16 points and Wesley Myers, from Brooklyn by way of Niagara, scored 15. Even with the blowout the Black Bears only went nine players deep.
Siena 89, Cornell 78
Marquis Wright scored 31 points and Brett Bisping added 23 points and 15 rebounds to make sure the Saints took care of business at home against the Big Red. Siena also received 14 points from Nico Clareth and 13 from Javion Ogunyemi. “Cornell is going to be really good. We were lucky to get that win,” Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos said postgame. Cornell had five players in double-figures, Matt Morgan and sophomore forward Stone Gettings each scored 16 and Robert Hatter added 12 points and 10 rebounds. It might be a little concerning for Patsos that Cornell scored 1.04 points per possession considering the Big Red ranked 231st in adjusted offensive efficiency last season.
Brown 88, Niagara 79
Steven Spieth scored 27 points, thanks in part to shooting 19-22 on free throws (and fell one assist shy of a triple-double!), as Brown held off Niagara by nine points in Providence, RI. Obi Okolie had a nice game with 15 points and five rebounds for the Bears. Niagara was led by USC transfer Khalil Dukes, who scored 16 points for the Purple Eagles. Thanks in part to Spieth, the Bears attempted 45 free throws.
Rutgers 87, Drexel 66
Rodney Williams scored 24 points for Drexel, but it wasn’t enough as the Dragons dropped to 0-2 on their New Jersey weekend. Rutgers had a balanced attack led by 15 points from sophomore forward Jonathan Laurent. Kansas State transfer Nigel Johnson also had 15 points off the bench for the Scarlet Knights. Steve Pikiell also seems to like how 7-foot-0 center C.J. Gettys is playing. The UNC Wilmington graduate transfer had 10 points and nine rebounds. Even though Rutgers couldn’t contain Williams, the defense was strong overall, allowing just 0.88 points per possession. Drexel struggled from deep, shooting just 7-24 beyond the arc.
UMBC 77, UMES 73
UMBC is 2-0 under new head coach Ryan Odom. Yes, the wins are over non-Division I opponent Hood and University of Maryland Eastern Shore, projected to be one of the worst teams in Division I, but they’re wins. And with Delaware St. and Kennesaw St., both at home coming up next it’s possible that the Retrievers make it all the way to 4-0 before the schedule gets more difficult. This road victory came thanks to 24 points from Will Darley and 23 points from Jairus Lyles. After averaging 23 ppg for UMBC last season Lyles is off to another strong start, with 41 points in his first two games. Lyles also had six assists and six rebounds. Darley scored his 24 points on just eight shots from the field thanks to shooting 5-6 from three and 7-8 from the free throw line.
DePaul 78, Robert Morris 72
Robert Morris got within two points near the very end of this game, but couldn’t quite manage to come all the way back from a 13-point second half deficit. Still, this has to be seen as a step forward after a season opening loss to Penn in Moon Township. Isaiah Still led the RMU attack with 26 points. Kavon Stewart added 13 points (but on 2-10 shooting from the field), four rebounds, five assists and four steals. The Colonials did a decent job on the boards, grabbing 38% of their misses and allowing DePaul to only grab 25% of their own. The three-point shooting was also a little better, as RMU shot 7-20 (35%) from distance. The big issue for the Colonials defensively was committing 26 fouls that allowed DePaul to shoot 34 free throws, but part of that imbalance came from the late comeback attempt. This definitely seems like a step in the right direction.