Monday Night Basketball: Bulldogs Host Albany

Raffi Mantilla. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Raffi Mantilla. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Third Straight Game Against America East Opponent

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs play their third straight game against an America East opponent when Albany visits the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Monday night. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. following the Yale-Fairleigh Dickinson women's game, which begins at 5 p.m.

Yale has won its first two home games in impressive fashion, knocking off Army and Hartford. The Bulldogs (3-4) averaged 84 points, shot 52.4 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range in those two games. Two of Yale's four losses have come by four points or less, including Saturday's 82-78 decision at Vermont. The Bulldogs went toe-to-toe with the Catamounts before falling. The game featured 11 ties and 12 lead changes. Both teams were nearly flawless on offense in the second half. Yale committed just one turnover over the final 20 minutes, while the Catamounts shot 65.2 percent from the field and had only four turnovers. Austin Morgan had another outstanding game for Yale, matching his career-high with 25 points. Morgan, who leads the Ivy League in scoring (18.0 ppg.), has made nine of his last 12 three-point attempts and has scored 20 points or more in each of the last two games.


Yale and Albany are playing for only the fourth time. The Great Danes lead the series 2-1, including an 89-68 victory last year. Tim Ambrose scored 22 points and Billy Allen added 21. The Bulldogs won the only other meeting in New Haven, 73-61 in 2001.


The Great Danes have won three straight games, including an impressive 88-82 overtime victory over Siena on Saturday. Tim Ambrose had 27 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the way. Logan Aronhalt (20.0 ppg.) leads the team in scoring. Ambrose (16.9 ppg.) and Mike Black (13.0 ppg.) are the other double-figure scorers. Yale is the second Ivy League opponent for the Great Danes, who fell to Cornell 65-61 in the season opener. Albany has a youthful 14-player roster that features two seniors, three juniors, six sophomores and three freshmen.


Yale was picked to finish fifth in the Ivy League by the select panel of 17 Ivy media representatives. Yale, though, shouldn't put too much stock in those prognostications. The Bulldogs have finished higher than projected in four of the last five years. Princeton, which received 12 of 17 first-place votes, is the preseason Ivy League favorite. The Tigers return their top five scorers and top two rebounders. Harvard got four first-place votes and is second followed by Cornell (one first-place vote) and Penn. Brown, Columbia and Dartmouth round out the poll.



First-Place Votes in Parentheses

Rank    School                         Points

1.          Princeton (12)          128

2.          Harvard (4)                120

3.          Cornell (1)                  96

4.          Penn                            89

5.          Yale                              57

6.          Brown                         55

7.          Columbia                    48

8.          Dartmouth                19


Greg Mangano, who led the Ivy League in blocked shots last year, has been named to the All-Connecticut 6 preseason team. Mangano, a 6-foot-10 junior, tied for fifth in the league in rebounding (5.5 rpg.). In addition, he was fourth on the team in scoring (7.5 ppg.) and tied for second in rebounding. Joining Mangano on the All-Connecticut 6 preseason team is Quinnipiac forward Justin Rutty, Central Connecticut guard Shemik Thompson, Fairfield guard Derek Needham, Hartford guard Joe Zeglinski and Sacred Heart guard Jerrell Thompson.


   The state of Connecticut has a rich basketball tradition. A new chapter in that history started in 2009-10 with the formation of the Connecticut 6, a partnership between six of Connecticut's Division I schools - Yale, Central Connecticut, Fairfield, Hartford, Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart. The second annual Connecticut 6 Classic tripleheader was Nov. 13 at the the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville. In addition to the tripleheader, a preseason All-Connecticut 6 team was selected and there will be a Connecticut 6 Player of the Week chosen each week during the season.


James Jones has made quite an impact on the Yale basketball program. In 11 seasons, Jones has guided Yale to success not seen in New Haven in 40 years. In 2001-02, Jones led the Bulldogs to their first Ivy League title since 1962-63 and the first postseason tournament victory in the 107-year history of Yale basketball. The team won 21 games, the second most in the modern era of Yale basketball, and reached the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. Jones, the longest tenured coach in the Ivy League, earned his 100th victory at Yale when the Bulldogs beat Columbia on Feb. 9, 2007. He is only the fourth coach in school history with at least 100 wins. The Bulldogs have won at least 10 Ivy games twice during his tenure and have had a .500 or better record in league play in nine of his 11 years. Four assistant coaches who worked under Jones have gone on to become head coaches - Isaiah Cavaco (Oberlin), Mark Sembrowich (Academy of Arts University), Mark Gilbride (Clarkson) and Ted Hotaling (New Haven).Jones served as an assistant coach to Villanova's Jay Wright for the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team.


  • The Bulldogs will face seven teams that reached the post-season last year – Cornell (NCAA), Vermont (NCAA), Lehigh (NCAA), Quinnipiac (NIT), Illinois (NIT), Harvard (CIT) and Princeton (CBI).
  • Yale will play five afternoon home games in Lee Amphitheater – Army (Nov. 27), Sacred Heart (Dec. 19), Lehigh (Dec. 31), Baruch College (Jan. 8) and Brown (Jan. 22). All are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
  • There were familiar faces on the opposing bench when the Bulldogs played at Boston College. Steve Donahue, who guided Cornell to the last three Ivy League titles, is in his first season as the head coach at BC. His associate head coach, Joe Jones, was the head coach at Columbia for the last seven years and is the younger brother of Yale head coach James Jones.
  • Boston College was one of six opponents that will have first-year head coaches. Hartford (John Gallagher), Holy Cross (Milan Brown), Columbia (Kyle Smith), Cornell (Bill Courtney) and Dartmouth (Paul Cormier) are the others.
  • Yale played Illinois for only the second time. The first meeting was a 71-67 Illini victory in the 1949 NCAA Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
  • Yale will be playing Stanford for third time in the last four years. The Cardinal became the first Pac 10 to school to play in Lee Amphitheater in 2008.
  • Yale will host a game on New Year's Eve for the first time since 1930. The Bulldogs play Lehigh in a 2 p.m. tip-off.
  • Three of the Bulldogs' first four Ivy games will be on the road.
  • Three-time defending Ivy League champion Cornell visits Lee Amphitheater on Feb. 4.


Michael Sands has withdrawn from Yale for personal reasons and will not be with the team... The Bulldogs remained in Boston following the BC game. In addition to taking a tour of Fenway Park, the team attended the Yale-Harvard football game at Harvard Stadium... Yale head coach James Jones graduated from Albany in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in communications and in 1995 earned his master's in educational administration. As a player at Albany, Jones was captain of the freshman team and was selected as the team's Freshman of the Year. He played for and coached with the legendary Dr. Richard Sauers, one of only seven collegiate coaches to win more than 700 games.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity