Teams Meet Friday At 7 p.m.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale plays it final game of 2013 on Friday at Albany. Tipoff at the SEFCU Arena is set for 7 p.m. After Friday, the Bulldogs won't take the court again until Jan. 4 at Saint Louis.
Yale (5-5) is coming off a solid performance in Tuesday's 76-74 loss at Providence. The Bulldogs fell behind by 15 after 11 minutes, but outscored the Friars 61-48 the rest of the way. Sophomore Justin Sears scored a career-high 31 points to pace Yale. He was 13-of-16 from the field and also had three assists and two steals. It was the first 30-point game for a Yale player since Greg Mangano scored 35 against Saint Joseph, Long Island, in 2012. Sears is second in the Ivy League in scoring (18.3 ppg.) and blocks (15) and fifth in rebounding (7.3 rpg.) and field goal percentage (.544). In addition, his 36 offensive rebounds are the most in the league.
Friday's game is a homecoming for Yale head coach James Jones, a 1986 Albany graduate. Jones also was an assistant coach for the Great Danes for five seasons. He played for and coached with the legendary Dr. Richard Sauers, one of only seven collegiate coaches to win more than 700 games. Jones, in his 15th season at Yale, is the second winningest coach in school history, trailing only Hall of Fame Coach Joe Vancisin. Jones has 195 wins, 11 shy of Vancisin's mark. In addition, Jones continues to climb the Ivy League coaching list. His 108 Ivy victories are the fifth most in league history, and his 195 overall wins are the sixth most.
3 KEYS FOR YALE
Get To The Rim – The Bulldogs were at their best against Providence when they attacked the basket. In the second half against the Friars, Yale was 15-of-22 from the field, many on layups following penetration.
Take Care Of The Ball – Yale had 16 assists and a season-low nine turnovers against Providence. When the Bulldogs share and protect the ball that well, they are a very efficient offensive team.
Don't' Foul – Albany has attempted 237 free throws, 85 more than their opponents. Leading scorer Peter Hooley has 59 of those attempts and is shooting 86.4 percent (51-of-59) from the line.
• Brandon Sherrod is averaging 13.5 points in the last two games. Against New Hampshire, he was 6-of-7 from the field, finished with a career-high 18 points and also grabbed nine rebounds, which matched his career high.
• Greg Kelley scored a season-high 11 points against Providence. He was 4-of-6 from the field, including 3-of-5 from three-point range.
• Yale's bench has averaged 20.3 points in the last three games. The Bulldogs' reserves outscored New Hampshire's 24-19, Bryant's 21-8 and Providence's 16-8.
Yale and Albany have split four meetings with the home team winning each game. The last time the teams played was in 2010, a 74-53 Yale victory at Lee Amphitheater.
The Great Danes (5-5) last played on Saturday, dropping a 69-60 decision to Colgate. Yale is the second Ivy League opponent for Albany, which beat Brown 74-68 on Dec. 10. Four players average double figures in scoring, led by Peter Hooley at 15.0 ppg. Sam Rowley (14.4 ppg.), Gary Johnson (10.9 ppg.) and DJ Evans (10.8 ppg.) are the others. Rowley was named the America East Player of the Week on Monday after scoring 20 points in the win over Brown and 21 points, while grabbing 11 rebounds against Colgate. The Great Danes are ranked No. 13 in the nation in free throw percentage (76.4%). Hooley ranks fourth in the conference in free throw percentage (.864), and is the only player in the top-10 to take at least 40 free throws (51-59).
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity