February 17, 2012

Free Throw Shooting Lifts Yale To Important Win At Dartmouth

Victory Sets Up Showdown With Harvard For First Place On Saturday     

HANOVER, N.H. – The Yale men's basketball team took care of business Friday, knocking off Dartmouth 70-61 at Leede Arena.

Now, and only now, can the Bulldogs turn their attention to Saturday's battle for first place against Harvard.

Austin Morgan scored 17 points, and Greg Mangano added 16 points and 15 rebounds to lead Yale over the Big Green.

"This was a trap game," Morgan said. "Dartmouth is much better than their record shows."

The Bulldogs (17-6, 7-2 Ivy) did much of their damage at the free throw line, making 30-of-33 foul shots. Morgan was 12-of-12, including several big ones down the stretch that sealed the victory.

"Getting to the free throw line is always important on the road," said Morgan, who has been among the nation's leaders for much of the season.

Four of Yale's five starters reached double figures in scoring. Reggie Willhite had 13 points, and Jeremiah Kreisberg added 11. The Bulldogs also got a nice contribution from their bench. Freshmen Matt Townsend and Brandon Sherrod combined for 11 points and five rebounds.

Gabas Maldunas paced Dartmouth (4-21, 0-9 Ivy) with 23 points and 11 rebounds.

"This is always a hard place to play," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "I thought we had command of the game as well as anybody has here."

Yale led 30-24 at halftime and stretched it to 15, 51-36, midway through the second half.

The Big Green, though, refused to quit. Two Jvonte Brooks free throws pulled Dartmouth within four with 2:43 remaining. The Big Green then forced a turnover but couldn't capitalize.

Kreisberg made two free throws to push the lead back to six, and Dartmouth never got closer than five the rest of the way. The Bulldogs made 10 straight foul shots in the final 1:55.

The 33 free throw attempts were the third most in a game this season for the Bulldogs, who have won five of their last six games.

"That's a big part of what we do," Jones said. "We had a huge advantage at the basket. When we can drive and get it inside, we can be really good."

Harvard (22-3, 8-1 Ivy) knocked off Brown 69-42 to remain one game ahead of the Bulldogs. Penn, which beat Cornell on Friday, also has two league losses but is a half-game behind Yale.

"I told the guys not to think about [Saturday] until [Saturday]," Jones said.

NOTES: Jesse Pritchard made his first career start and played 28 minutes… Yale shot just 38.8 percent from the field in the game but held the Big Green to 40.4 percent… Neither team had much success from three-point range. The Bulldogs were 2-of-15 from beyond the arc, while Dartmouth missed all five of its three-point attempts… Yale had a 39-31 rebounding advantage… The Bulldogs committed just three turnovers in the first half but had 12 in the second half… Yale swept the season series from the Big Green for the third straight year... The Bulldogs have now won 11 of the last 12 meetings with the Big Green... Saturday's game with Harvard tips off at 7 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity