Bulldogs Drop Overtime Heartbreaker To Harvard

Greg Mangano. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Greg Mangano. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Zampier Sets Yale Career Steals Record; Scores 32 Points

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Ivy League Player of the Year candidates Alex Zampier of Yale and Jeremy Lin of Harvard each put on a show Friday night at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. In the end, though, it was a pair of Harvard freshmen that played the biggest roles in deciding the outcome. Dee Giger made a crucial three-pointer that tied the score at 65 with 25 seconds left in the second half, and Brandyn Curry made all five of his field goals and all three of his free throws as the Crimson escaped with a thrilling 82-79 overtime victory before a spirited crowd of 2,091.

"It was a great college basketball game," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "Our team fought hard. We had a couple of stretches where we didn't focus, especially at the start of the second half."

Zampier finished with 32 points and also had three steals to become Yale's all-time leader. He was 8-of-22 from the field and made 14-of-15 free throws. It was the third time this season he surpassed the 30-point mark.

Lin, a first team All-Ivy selection last year, made 7-of-9 shots to finish with 18 points. He also contributed four assists and two steals before fouling out with 1:15 left in the second half.

There were 13 ties and 12 lead changes in the game.

After Giger's three-pointer tied the score at 65, Yale took a one-point lead when Michael Sands made 1-of-2 free throws with seven seconds remaining in regulation. Harvard's Oliver McNally was then fouled at the other end with two seconds left. With the Amphitheater crowd roaring, he missed the first free throw but sank the second to send the game to overtime.

The biggest shot of the extra period was Christian Webster's three-pointer that gave the Crimson a 75-71 lead with 2:18 left. Harvard then made 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute. The one miss, though, did give Yale two chances to tie. Zampier missed a long three-pointer with eight seconds remaining, but Greg Mangano grabbed the offensive rebound, passed it back to Zampier, whose straightaway three-pointer wouldn't fall as time expired.

Mangano finished with a career-high 19 points, eight rebounds and three blocks for the Bulldogs (9-15, 3-4 Ivy). He was 7-of-12 from the field, including three three-pointers.

"Greg played really well," Jones said. "We should have gotten the ball inside more.  We're at our best when the ball goes inside."

Sands and Jordan Gibson both finished with 10 points.

Kyle Casey led Harvard (16-5, 5-2 Ivy) with 20 points. He was only 5-of-16 from the field but made 7-of-8 free throws and grabbed seven rebounds in 41 minutes. Webster added 12 points off the bench.

The Crimson shot 44.8 percent from the field in the game, including 57.1 percent in the second half, and made 11-of-12 free throws in the overtime period.

The Bulldogs shot 42.4 percent but outrebounded Harvard 39-33.

Yale trailed 20-19 midway through the first half but used a 10-1 run, capped by a Reggie Willhite steal and dunk, to take the lead. The advantage was nine, 34-25, at halftime after Gibson's layup off a nifty feed from Zampier with three seconds left.

The Crimson, though, started the second half with a 16-4 run to set up the dramatic finish.

NOTES: Zampier's steal early in the first half was the 158th of his career, breaking the mark he shared with Daniel Okonkwo entering the game. Zampier added two more steals. Jones fell to 16-5 against Harvard during his time at Yale. The Bulldogs had 11 offensive rebounds in the game, but they led to only eight second chance points. Yale hosts Dartmouth on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Big Green fell to Brown 75-60 on Friday.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity