Bulldogs Fall To Quinnipiac 84-75 In Season Opener
Mangano Paces Yale With 20 Points, Nine Rebounds
UNCASVILLE, Conn. – The Yale men's basketball team had a pretty good idea what to expect from Quinnipiac's Justin Rutty in Saturday's season opener. Rutty, last year's Northeast Conference Player of the Year, delivered his usual strong game, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. What probably came as more of a surprise to the Bulldogs was the play of the Bobcats' guards. Deontay Twyman and James Johnson combined to score 32 points as Quinnipiac held off Yale 84-75 in the final game of the Connecticut 6 tripleheader at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Greg Mangano led the Bulldogs with a career-high 20 points. He was 6-of-14 from the field and added nine rebounds and two blocks in 33 minutes.
"Greg was tremendous on the block," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "He did a nice job at both ends of the floor."
Quinnipiac, the NEC preseason favorite, shot 52.6 percent from the field and outrebounded Yale 37-27.
Strong starts in both halves lifted the Bobcats. Quinnipiac scored the first nine points of the game and led 44-33 at halftime. The Bobcats then began the second half with an 8-2 run.
"I don't know if that is a product of us being young, but we are not going to be successful if we spot teams a lead," Jones said.
Quinnipiac had a 20-point lead with eight minutes left in the second half, but the Bulldogs staged a big comeback. Two free throws from Reggie Willhite cut the deficit to six, 75-69, with 2:20 remaining. Quinnipiac's Dominique Langston, though, answered with a big three-pointer.
Yale got back within 79-73 with 1:16 left, but Ike Azotam sealed the victory when he grabbed the offensive rebound of a Raheem May-Thompson missed free throw and put it back in to make it 82-73 with 38 seconds left.
Quinnipiac finished 7-of-17 from three-point range, while the Bulldogs made only 5-of-21 three-pointers.
"We had some open looks that didn't go down," Jones said. "Hopefully as the season goes along we will make some of those."
Three freshmen saw action for the Bulldogs. Jeremiah Kreisberg led the newcomers with eight points in 22 minutes. Isaiah Salafia made a three-pointer in his 13 minutes, and Jesse Pritchard also made his first career appearance.
Yale is back in action on Monday at Providence. The opening tip is slated for 7 p.m.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity