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Big Second Half Lifts Yale Past Albany, 74-53

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

Mangano Scores 21 Points, Grabs 15 Rebounds

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale has already had some impressive performances early this season, but it's hard to imagine the Bulldogs have been any better than they were in the second half against Albany on Monday night. Yale held the Great Danes to 24.2 percent shooting from the field and outrebounded them 27-18 en route to a surprisingly easy 74-53 victory at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Greg Mangano led the way for the Bulldogs, scoring 21 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Porter Braswell added 14 points and four assists, and Raffi Mantilla contributed a career-high 12 points off the bench.

Austin Morgan, who entered the night leading the Ivy League in scoring, was held to just three points, 15 below his average.

"We got contributions from everybody," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball.  "To win with Austin only scoring three points is a tribute to our guys. Our bench and the other starters really picked up the slack."

Jones inserted freshman Jeremiah Kreisberg into the starting lineup, and the move paid dividends. Kreisberg, who was making his first career start, made 5-of-6 shots from the field and finished with 10 points. Reggie Willhite also reached double figures in scoring with 11 points. Willhite was 4-of-6 from the field and added five rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal.

The Bulldogs won for the third time in their last four games and are 3-0 at home.

"It was a great team effort," Jones said. "Our guys have really figured out that sharing the ball is important. They've taken it to heart and are doing a much better job."

Yale (4-4) led only 36-31 at halftime. Albany cut the deficit to 44-43 with 15:46 left, but the Bulldogs answered with a big run, outscoring the Great Danes 26-2 over the next eight minutes.

Early on, it appeared it might be an easy night for the Bulldogs, who scored the first seven points. Albany, though, slowly chipped away and tied it at 22-22 with 6:24 left. Mangano immediately answered with an emphatic dunk off a nice feed from Willihite.

The final tie of the game was at 30-30 with 1:36 left, but Yale scored the last six points, including a three-pointer from Braswell just before time expired.

The Bulldogs shot 51.7 percent from the field in the first half, but Albany stayed close with a 17-13 edge in rebounding. That changed in a big way in the second half.

"In the games we've lost, we haven't done a good job on the defensive boards," said Mangano, who posted his fifth career double-double. "Tonight we wanted to control the defensive boards, and it was a team effort."

Mangano's 15 rebounds matched his career high. He also had four blocks and was 8-of-13 from the field.

Tim Ambrose paced the Great Danes (4-6) with 15 points.

NOTES: The big lead allowed Jones to use all 14 healthy players. Senior Alfonso Costa, who joined the team this fall and also plays lacrosse at Yale, saw his first action and was credited with an offensive rebound… One of Jones' concerns early in the season has been his starters minutes, but none were forced to play more than 30… Yale's bench outscored Albany's 15-7… The Bulldogs evened the all-time series with Albany 2-2 with the win… Jones is a 1986 Albany graduate… A busy stretch concludes for the Bulldogs on Wednesday when they play at Bryant. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and it will be Yale's third game in five days.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity