March 3, 2011

Regular Season Concludes With New York Road Trip

Bulldogs Face Columbia Friday, Cornell Saturday

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs conclude the regular season with a trip to Columbia on Friday and Cornell on Saturday. The start time for both games is 7 p.m.

Yale is coming off a thrilling weekend sweep of Dartmouth and Harvard. The Bulldogs edged Dartmouth 79-75 in overtime and followed it up with a 70-69 victory that knocked Harvard out of first place. In fact, all 12 of Yale's Ivy games have been decided by nine points or less. The Bulldogs have never played a full league season where all 14 games were decided by single digits. Yale has played two one-point games (70-69 win over Harvard, 71-70 victory over Cornell), one two-point game (60-58 loss to Penn), one three-point game (78-75 loss to Harvard) and two four-point games (79-75 overtime victory over Dartmouth, 67-63 loss to Princeton). Yale's five Ivy losses have come by a combined 24 points. The Bulldogs are already guaranteed their 11th straight fourth-place or better finish. A pair of victories would secure third-place and give Yale 16 overall wins, its most since 2001-02. Individually Greg Mangano is trying to become the first Ivy player to average a double-double both overall and in just Ivy games since Harvard's Kyle Snowden in 1995-96. Snowden averaged 15.1 ppg, 11.1 rpg. in all games and 14.1 ppg, 10.8 rpg. in Ivy games. Mangano is currently averaging 16.1 ppg, 10.0 rpg. overall and 18.6 ppg., 10.3 rpg. in league games. The last Yale player to average a double-double for the season is Chris Dudley (17.6 ppg., 13.3 rpg. in 1986-87). Mangano also has 83 blocks, the third most in a season in Ivy history. He is seven shy of Princeton's Chris Young, who had 90 in 1999-2000 and nine behind Brian Gilpin, who had 92 in 1994-95. Mangano's 49 blocks in Ivy games are a new league record. He is eighth in the nation in blocked shots per game (3.2) and 24th in rebounding.

BULLDOGS PROVE PROGNOSTICATORS WRONG - AGAIN

Yale was picked to finish fifth in the Ivy League by the select panel of 17 Ivy media representatives prior to the start of the season. However, for the fifth time in the last six years, the Bulldogs will finish higher than projected.

LEAGUE LEADERS

Yale leads the Ivy League in blocked shots (125), is second in field goal percentage defense (.420) and third in scoring defense (66.8 ppg.) and free throw percentage (.741). In Ivy only games, the Bulldogs have a league best 71 blocks. Yale is tied for second in field goal percentage defense (.418) and third in scoring defense (65.4 ppg.).

HISTORY LESSONS

The Bulldogs are looking to sweep the season series from Columbia for the second straight year. Yale built a 16-point halftime lead in a 72-67 victory over the Lions on Feb. 5. Michael Grace was 5-for-5 from the field and scored 11 points off the bench for the Bulldogs. Yale has won four straight games over Columbia but still trails in the all-time series 122-97.

The Bulldogs are trying to sweep the season series from Cornell for the first time since 2004. In the first meeting, Yale rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final two minutes to escape with a 71-70 victory. Austin Morgan's three-point play with 12 seconds left capped the comeback. Cornell leads the all-time series 107-102.

SCOUTING COLUMBIA

Columbia has held its opponent under 70 points for five straight games and is 7-3 on the season when keeping an opponent from reaching that number. The Lions need one win to clinch their third overall winning season in the last 28 years. Columbia's Noruwa Agho (16.1 ppg.) shares the Ivy League lead in scoring with Yale's Greg Mangano. The Lions's Brian Barbour (91.2 percent) is third in the nation in free throw percentage. Columbia shares the Ivy lead in rebounding margin (+3.7) and average a league best 12.7 offensive rebounds.

SCOUTING CORNELL

The Big Red (8-18, 4-8 Ivy) has won four of its last seven games, including a thrilling 74-72 victory over Penn at The Palestra last Saturday. Chris Wroblewski leads Cornell in scoring (14.3 ppg.) and assists (5.7 apg.), while Drew Ferry is pouring in 11.7 ppg. Sophomore Errick Peck is the third double figure scorer, averaging 11.2 ppg. Cornell ranks seventh nationally in 3-point field goals per game (9.0). In the last eight games, the Big Red's bench has outscored its opponents bench 355-156 (an average of 44.4-19.5).

DARTMOUTH-HARVARD NOTES

• All five Yale starters averaged double figures in scoring in the two games. Porter Braswell led the way (14.0 ppg.).

• Yale has now swept the Dartmouth-Harvard home weekend 10 times in James Jones' tenure as head coach.

• The victory over Dartmouth was Yale's second in overtime this season. The Bulldogs beat Holy Cross 77-76 in early January.

• The crowd of 2,249 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater for the Harvard game was the largest of the season.

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.

KREISBERG NAMED IVY ROOKIE OF WEEK

Jeremiah Kreisberg, who made the winning basket in Yale's 70-69 victory over Harvard on Saturday, has been named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week. In the Bulldogs' weekend sweep, Kreisberg shot 73.3 percent (11-of-15) from the field, averaged 13.5 points and 3.5 rebounds.

In Yale's 79-75 overtime victory against Dartmouth, Kreisberg scored a career-high 14 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out three assists. His two free throws with 58 seconds remaining in the second half snapped a 63-63 tie.

Kreisberg provided more late-game heroics the next night against Harvard. His layup with 41 seconds left capped the scoring in a Yale victory. He finished with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field.

Kreisberg, who earned his second Rookie of the Week selection, has started 16 games, including all 12 Ivy games. In his last six games, he has reached double figures in scoring four times and is averaging 9.7 points.

VANCISIN ELECTED TO HALL OF FAME

Joe Vancisin, Yale's all-time winningest men's basketball coach, has been elected to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Vancisin guided the Bulldogs for 19 seasons and won three Ivy League titles.

Vancisin, who will enter as a contributor, joins players Ralph Sampson, James Worthy, Cazzie Russell and Chris Mullin, coaches Bob Knight and Eddie Sutton and fellow contributor Eddie Einhorn in the induction class of 2011. The eight will be inducted on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011, at the Midland Theatre in Kansas City.

Vancisin took over at Yale in 1956-57 and promptly led the Bulldogs to the first official Ivy League title. Yale then lost to North Carolina 90-74 in the NCAA Tournament at Madison Square Garden. The Bulldogs returned to the NCAA Tournament in 1961-62, dropping a heartbreaking 92-82 decision to a Wake Forest team that went on to advance to the Final Four. Yale shared the Ivy title in 1962-63 but fell to Princeton in a playoff game.

Another notable highlight of his coaching career came when the Bulldogs captured the 1969 Rainbow Classic in Hawaii, knocking off Pete Maravich's LSU team in the championship game. Renowned as a brilliant court tactician, Vancisin helped develop Yale stars John Lee, Rick Kaminsky (both All-Americans), Larry Downs, Bill Madden, Ed Goldstone, Rick Stoner and Jim Morgan.

Vancisin, who had a 206-242 record as the Bulldogs' head coach, left Yale in 1975 to become the NABC's executive director for 17 years before his retirement in 1992. Under his leadership, the NABC debuted its college all-star game at the NCAA Final Four, elected its first African American president in Georgetown's John Thompson and adopted a code of ethics.

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. 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.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity