Three Straight Home Games Starts With Vermont

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Anthony Dallier. (photo by Sam Rubin ?95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Host Catamounts Wednesday

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The John J. Lee Amphitheater will be a welcome sight for a road-weary Yale team. The Bulldogs host Vermont in the historic building on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Yale is playing at home for the first time since a Dec. 7 victory over New Hampshire. The Bulldogs have played nine of their 12 games away from home, including Saturday's 75-55 loss to a very talented Saint Louis team. The Bulldogs stay in Saint Louis was extended for two days by a storm that dumped nearly a foot of snow on the city. Yale finally made it back to New Haven on Tuesday afternoon. The Bulldogs shot the ball well against the Billikens, hovering at near 50 percent for most of the game before cooling off late, but were done in by 18 turnovers. Javier Duren, who was playing in his hometown, scored 13 points to lead Yale. The game also was a homecoming for junior Will Childs-Klein.

Justin Sears is third in the Ivy League in scoring (16.5 ppg.) and field goal percentage (.529), fifth in rebounding (6.8 rpg.) and fourth in blocked shots (19).

The Bulldogs are a little over a week away from their Ivy League opener against Brown on Jan. 18. The final tuneup is Saturday against Baruch.

3 KEYS FOR YALE

Take Care Of The Ball – The Bulldogs shot the ball better than most teams do against Saint Louis on Saturday but committed 18 turnovers. The Catamounts may not apply as much pressure as SLU, but they are a hard-nosed, tough defensive team.

Rebound – Rebounding continues to be the most important statistic for Yale. In their five wins, the Bulldogs have a +8.8 rebounding margin, while they are -3.1 in their seven losses.

Three-Point Shooting – The Bulldogs are at their best when they get the ball inside, but that would be easier if they could improve their long-range shooting. In the last six games, Yale is shooting just 22 percent (22-of-100) from beyond the arc.

WHO'S HOT

Nick Victor had a solid all-around game against Saint Louis. He finished with nine points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks.

• Freshman J.T. Flowers saw his most significant minutes of the season against the Billikens. In 10 minutes, he was 2-of-3 from the field, including making the first three-pointer of his career, and scored five points.

HISTORY LESSONS

Yale and Vermont have played every year since 2007. The Bulldogs have won four of the last five meetings at Lee Amphitheater but trail the overall series 13-11. Last year in Burlington, Candon Rusin scored 18 points to lead the Catamounts to a 65-52 victory. Michael Grace '13 had 12 points to lead Yale.

SCOUTING VERMONT

The Catamounts (6-8) are coming off a 62-53 win at Dartmouth on Saturday. Clancy Rugg scored a career-high 24 points to pace UVM. Vermont's most impressive result may be a 91-90 loss at Duke. The Blue Devils were ranked sixth in the nation at the time. UVM had a chance to win, but Candon Rusin's floater from the baseline came after the final horn. Since that game, the Catamounts have gone 5-3. Rugg leads the team in scoring at 15.4 ppg. and also averages 7.3 rebounds. Brian Voelkel is the team's top rebounder at 8.4 rpg. The Catamounts, the preseason America East favorite, posted their fifth straight 20-win season and 10th in the last 12 years with a 21-12 mark in 2012-13. Vermont advanced to the America East Championship game for the eighth time in 12 years and the Catamounts earned their fifth straight postseason appearance after being selected to the 2013 College Basketball Invitational (CBI).

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity