February 24, 2011

Senior Night Highlights Final Home Weekend

Bulldogs Host Dartmouth, First-Place Harvard

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs' final home weekend brings visits from Dartmouth and first-place Harvard. Yale meets the Big Green on Friday at 7 p.m. before the showdown with Harvard on Saturday at 6 p.m. Seniors Porter Braswell, Alfonso Costa and Raffi Mantilla will be making their final appearance in the John J. Lee Amphitheater and will be honored prior to Saturday's game.

Saturday also is Alumni Day. The Bulldogs are looking to sweep the season series from Dartmouth for the fourth time in the last five years. Yale beat the Big Green 69-60 in Hanover two weeks ago. Saturday's matchup with Harvard features a battle between two of the Ivy League's top big men. Yale's Greg Mangano leads the conference in scoring (16.3 ppg.), rebounding (9.9 rpg.) and blocked shots (71). Harvard's Keith Wright is the league leader in field goal percentage (.592), is second in rebounding (8.8 rpg.) and third in scoring (15.4 ppg.) and blocked shots (38). Mangano had 19 points, four rebounds and three blocks in 24 minutes in the first meeting, a 78-75 Crimson victory. Wright had 17 points, five rebounds and one block. The Bulldogs are coming off a heartbreaking 70-68 loss to Penn last Saturday. The Quakers' Zack Rosen hit the winning shot with 2.3 seconds left. All 10 of Yale's Ivy games have been decided by nine points or less. Overall, the Bulldogs have played 11 games decided by five points or less and are 5-6 in those games.

IVY LOUNGE

Open to all Yale basketball fans and friends, the newly renovated Ivy Lounge features refreshments, a social atmosphere, and skybox viewing from one-half hour prior to tip-off through the entire game for all home Ivy League games.  The cost is $10 for all Yale Basketball Association members and $20 for non-members. Come to the skyboxes under the scoreboard to learn more.

PROMOTIONS

At Friday's game with Dartmouth, members of Yale's residential colleges will compete for points that will be added to their Davies Cup standings. The first 250 fans at Saturday's game with Harvard will receive a Dawg Pound rally towell. Yale students can also enter a raffle to win a 48" television.

LEAGUE LEADERS

Yale is second in the Ivy League in field goal percentage defense (.419), tied for second in blocks (110, 4.6 per game) and third in scoring defense (66.3 ppg.) and free throw percentage (.738). In Ivy only games, the Bulldogs have a league best 56 blocks. Yale is tied for second in field goal percentage defense (.414) and third in scoring defense (64.1 ppg.).

HISTORY LESSONS

Yale and Dartmouth are playing for the 198th time, and the Bulldogs hold a 103-94 advantage. Yale has won four straight and eight of the last nine meetings with Dartmouth. Yale head coach James Jones is 18-5 against the Big Green. The Bulldogs have won 11 straight over the Big Green in New Haven. Greg Mangano scored a career-high 30 points in the victory two weeks ago.

Yale has 114 victories all-time over Harvard, the most against any opponent. The Crimson, though, has won four straight, including the last two in New Haven. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 114-69.

Yale has swept the Dartmouth-Harvard home weekend nine times in Jones' tenure as head coach.

SCOUTING DARTMOUTH

The Big Green (5-19, 1-9 Ivy) has lost seven straight games. Dartmouth has nine freshmen or sophomores on its roster. One of the rookies, Tyler Melville, has been hot recently. He scored 20 points last Friday against Columbia and had a solid performance against Yale in the first meeting, scoring nine points, grabbing five rebounds and handing out six assists in 30 minutes. Dartmouth has a couple of familar faces to Connecticut basketball fans on its sideline. Paul Cormier spent seven years as the head coach at Fairfield, while assistant coach Ricky Moore was a standout player at UConn.

SCOUTING HARVARD

Harvard (20-4, 9-1 Ivy) moved into first place in the Ivy League with a 61-42 victory over Columbia last Saturday. The Crimson, who play at Brown on Friday, enter the weekend a half-game in front of second-place Princeton (8-1). Keith Wright (15.4 ppg.) is one of four players averaging double figures in scoring. Christian Webster (13.5 ppg.), Laurent Rivard (11.3 ppg.) and Kyle Casey (10.5 ppg.) are the others. Harvard is second in the nation in free throw percentage (.803). Tommy Amaker is in his fourth season as Harvard's head coach.

PRINCETON-PENN NOTES

•  Yale struggled in the first half in both games. In the opening 20 minutes, the Bulldogs shot just 32.7 percent from the field and averaged 21.0 points.

•  Austin Morgan had 11 assists and three turnovers.

•  Jeremiah Kreisberg matched his career high with 13 points against Princeton. He also grabbed six rebounds.

•  Yale was outscored 12-4 from the foul line in the game with Penn.

2011-12 SCHEDULE

The 2011-12 Yale schedule is starting to take shape. The season is tentatively set to begin on Nov. 12 against Central Connecticut at the Connecticut 6 Classic at the Mohegan Sun Arena. The Bulldogs will play non-league road games at Quinnipiac, Seton Hall, Army, Hartford, Sacred Heart, Rhode Island, Wake Forest and Florida. Vermont, Bryant and Holy Cross are scheduled to visit Lee Amphitheater.

BULLDOGS FIFTH IN IVY LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL

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. The Bulldogs are currently tied for fourth place. Princeton, which received 12 of 17 first-place votes, was the preseason Ivy League favorite. The Tigers return their top five scorers and top two rebounders. Harvard got four first-place votes and was second followed by Cornell (one first-place vote) and Penn. Brown, Columbia and Dartmouth round out the poll.

HEAD COACH JAMES JONES

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.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Bulldogs' most impressive victory during the non-conference season was a 75-67 win at Boston College on Nov. 18. Yale made a season-high 12 three-pointers in the game. BC's only lead was 2-1. The Eagles are currently 16-11 overall and 6-7 in the ACC...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 at Yale. Yale's home court, the John J. Lee Amphitheater, is named in his honor... Yale's home game with Princeton was televised as part of the winter "Yale On Yes" package.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity