January 3, 2012

Fast Start Leads Bulldogs To 82-67 Win Over Holy Cross

Yale Improves To 4-0 At Home

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Back in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater, the Yale men's basketball team went back to what it does best. The Bulldogs pounded the ball inside and dominated in the paint en route to an impressive 82-67 victory over Holy Cross in front of a nice weeknight crowd of 1,326.

Yale (9-4) outscored the Crusaders 40-22 in the paint and outrebounded them 44-25.

6-foot-10 center Greg Mangano led the way, finishing with 27 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks. Reggie Willhite and Isaiah Salafia added 10 points apiece.

The Bulldogs improved to 4-0 at home on the season. They have outscored their opponents 327-215 in the four games and have an average margin of victory of 28.

Early on, it looked like that might grow to an even bigger number. Yale was up 24-9 after nine minutes and the lead grew to 22 later in the half. The Crusaders, though, fought back. The margin was 13, 41-28, at halftime, and Holy Cross pulled within four twice in the second half.

"We came out in the first half and punched them pretty hard," said Willhite, who was 3-of-4 from field and added seven rebounds, two assists and a block. "Holy Cross is a tough team. We knew they would fight back. We weathered their comeback and were able to push it back out."

After the Crusaders (6-8) pulled within four with 8:14 left, the Bulldogs responded with a 13-4 run over the next four minutes, capped by a Sam Martin three-pointer.

"I always had the feeling that we were in control," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "Holy Cross is a good team. We knew they'd come back. If you're going to be a good team, you have to be able to combat that."

R.J. Evans paced Holy Cross with 24 points. Devin Brown added 22.

Martin and Salafia spearheaded a strong performance from Yale's bench, which outscored Holy Cross's 31-10. Martin was 3-for-3 from three-point range.

"Sam made some big shots," Jones said. "He had a great start to the season but has been struggling. It was nice to see him knock down some shots."

Mangano, who was named the Ivy League Player of the Week on Monday, continued his stellar play. He was 11-of-18 from the field overall and 11-of-14 from inside the three-point arc.

"When he's played one-on-one in the post, I expect him to score more times than not," Jones said.

In his last three games, Mangano is averaging 24.3 points and 13.3 rebounds.

NOTES: Freshman Brandon Sherrod also had a big game off the bench, contributing nine points and six rebounds in 11 minutes… Yale shot 60 percent (15-of-25) from the field in the first half. Six of those misses came from three-point range… Holy Cross stayed in the game by taking advantage of Yale's 10 first-half turnovers… The Crusaders shot 36.9 percent from the field in the game… Jeremiah Kreisberg pulled down nine rebounds… The Bulldogs play their final non-league game on Sunday when they host St. Joseph's of Long Island at 4 p.m. The game is the second of a doubleheader with the Yale women, who host Baruch starting at 2 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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