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Visit From Lehigh Helps Bulldogs Ring In New Year

Porter Braswell. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Porter Braswell. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Plays At Home On New Year's Eve For First Time Since 1930

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - For the first time since 1930, the Bulldogs will help ring in the new year with a home game. Yale dropped a 27-24 decision to CCNY on Dec. 31, 1930, but will hope for a better result when defending Patriot League champion Lehigh comes to town. Tipoff at the John J. Lee Amphitheater is slated for 2 p.m.

The Bulldogs are coming off a 60-44 loss at Stanford on Tuesday. The final score was a bit deceiving. The game featured seven ties and 14 lead changes. Yale led by one at halftime and had a 37-36 lead with 13:25 remaining before the Cardinal ran off 12 consecutive points to seize control. The Bulldogs lead the Ivy League in field goal percentage defense (.430) and three-point field goal percentage (.400). Individually, Greg Mangano leads the league in rebounding (9.4 rpg.) and blocked shots (23), and Austin Morgan tops the conference in three-point field goal percentage (.527). Morgan was 3-for-3 from three-point range against Stanford en route to scoring a team-high 15 points. Morgan leads the Bulldogs in scoring (15.3 ppg.), three-pointers (29) and assists (34).


Yale and Lehigh have split 14 meetings. The Mountain Hawks are making their first appearance in New Haven since 1998. Last year in Pennsylvania, C.J. McCollum had 21 of his game-high 31 points in the second half to lift Lehigh to a hard-fought 75-69 victory at Stabler Arena. The Mountain Hawks have won the last four meetings.


The Mountain Hawks (7-6) have won three of their last four games, including a 77-64 victory over Saint Peter's on Wednesday. C.J. McCollum (21.4 ppg.) has been among the national leaders in scoring early in the season. McCollum, who became the first men's basketball player in Patriot League history to be named the league's Player and Rookie of the Year last year, was named Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year. Yale is the second Ivy League opponent for the Mountain Hawks, who edged Cornell 60-57 on Nov. 22. Lehigh won the Patriot League Tournament last year and made its fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Mountain Hawks lost to Kansas 90-74 in the opening round last March.


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.


Michael Sands has withdrawn from Yale for personal reasons and will not be with the team... Three Bulldogs took an active role in the Yale Athletic Department's annual Holiday Gift Giving Initiative. Alfonso Costa, Michael Grace and Jesse Pritchard visited Augusta Lewis Troup School on Friday, Dec. 10, to distribute gifts collected. Costa, who also plays lacrosse, is chair of Yale's Student-Athlete Community Outreach Committee...Roger Lee, the youngest son of Yale great John Lee '58, attended the Yale-Stanford game. John Lee scored 1,493 points in three seasons in a Yale uniform. He was a member of the Ivy League Silver Anniversary All Star team. Yale's home court, the John J. Lee Amphitheater, is named in his honor.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity