Turnovers Doom Bulldogs In 62-57 Loss To Lehigh

Turnovers Doom Bulldogs In 62-57 Loss To Lehigh

Yale Outshoots, Outrebounds Mountain Hawks But Falls

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale didn't take very good care of the basketball Friday against Lehigh, and it proved costly. The Bulldogs committed 20 turnovers, two shy of their season high, and dropped a 62-57 decision to the Mountain Hawks in the final game of 2010 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Yale outshot (43.5 percent to 41.7) and outrebounded (35-27) the Mountain Hawks but couldn't overcome the miscues.

"We gave a good effort," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "We kept fighting to get ourselves back in the game, but we had too many costly turnovers, and that was the difference in the game."

Austin Morgan scored 11 points to pace a balanced Yale attack. Freshman Jeremiah Kreisberg and Raffi Mantilla added 10 points apiece. Greg Mangano scored nine points, grabbed eight rebounds and had five blocks.

The Bulldogs held Lehigh's leading scorer C.J. McCollum to 16 points, nearly five below his average. McCollum, who burned Yale for 31 points last year, was 4-of-12 from the field but made 8-of-9 free throws. Mackey McKnight and Michael Ojo both scored 13 points for the Mountain Hawks, who won for the fourth time in their last five games.

Yale (5-7) dropped its third straight game.

"We had a nice rhythm going before the break [for final exams and the holidays], and we haven't gotten it back," Jones said.

The Mountain Hawks (8-6) led 29-25 at halftime and opened the second half with a 9-2 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 38-27. The Bulldogs scored the next eight points to pull within three, but Lehigh quickly built the advantage back to 10, 47-37, with 10:57 left.

Yale then answered with a 10-0 run, capped by a Michael Grace three-pointer to tie the score at 47 with 6:59 remaining.

Ojo's three-pointer put the Mountain Hawks up 56-49 with 3:33 left, but Yale again rallied. Morgan's layup cut the deficit to one, 56-55, with 1:16 remaining. Holden Greiner then hit a layup for Lehigh, and after a Yale miss, Ojo sank two free throws with 17 seconds remaining to make it 60-55.

Morgan pulled the Bulldogs back within three with a layup, but McCollum sealed the victory by making two free throws with eight seconds remaining.

Lehigh finished 18-of-28 from the foul line, while Yale was 11-of-14.

The Bulldogs got a strong performance from their bench, which contributed 21 points. Grace scored a season-high seven points in nine minutes, and Jesse Pritchard grabbed seven rebounds in 11 minutes.

NOTES: Yale's season-high of 22 turnovers came in a loss to Illinois… Mangano's five blocks were one shy of his career high… Reggie Willhite was limited to 18 minutes because of foul trouble… The Bulldogs made only 6-of-21 three-pointers… 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 hosted a game on New Year's Eve for the first time since 1930… The Bulldogs are back in action next Wednesday when they play at Holy Cross. Tipoff in Worcester, Mass., is slated for 7 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity