March 17, 2014

Yale, Quinnipiac Meet In Opening Round Of CIT

Local Rivals Play For First Time Since 2011

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – For the sixth time in school history, Yale will be playing in the postseason. The Bulldogs host Quinnipiac in the opening round of the CollegeInsider Tournament (CIT) on Wednesday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. It will be the first postseason game for Yale in the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Yale has been invited to the postseason in three of the last four years. The Bulldogs played in the 2012 CIT, losing to Fairfield in the first round, and were asked to participate in the 2011 College Basketball Invitational (CBI) but had to decline because several players were overseas on pre-arranged educational trips. The Bulldogs went to the NCAA Tournament in 1949, 1957 and 1962 and took part in the 2002 NIT where they played a second round game at the New Haven Coliseum against Tennessee Tech.

Yale (15-13, 9-5 Ivy) was second in the Ivy League, its best finish since 2006-07. The Bulldogs posted a winning overall record for the third time in the last four years and a winning league mark for the fourth straight year.

Yale had two All-Ivy selections. Justin Sears, who leads the team in scoring at 17.1 ppg., and rebounding at 7.2 rpg., was named to the first team, while Javier Duren, who topped the team with 81 assists and 31 three-pointers, earned honorable mention recognition.

James Jones, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball at Yale, enters the game with 205 victories, all during his time at Yale. Jones is one win away from tying Joe Vancisin as the school's all-time winningest men's basketball coach. Vancisin guided the Bulldogs to 206 wins from 1956 to 1975.

3 KEYS FOR YALE

Keep Up On The Boards – Normally, Yale figures to have the edge in rebounding. The Bulldogs have outrebounded their last 11 opponents. Quinnipiac, though, poses a significant challenge. The Bobcats lead the nation with a +11.8 margin and also top the nation in offensive rebounds (16.8 per game).

Guard Play  – Without its usual edge in the post, Yale will need strong play from its guards.

Settle In – Neither team has played since Mar. 8. The team that can shake off the rust the quickest will have an edge.

HISTORY LESSONS

Yale and Quinnipiac are playing for the fifth time, and the Bobcats have won the first four. The last meeting was a 68-62 Quinnipiac victory in 2011 in Hamden. Ike Azotam scored 17 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to lead the Bobcats. The last time the teams played at Lee Amphitheater was in 2009, a 71-64 Quinnipiac victory.  

SCOUTING QUINNIPIAC

The Bobcats (20-11, 14-6 MAAC) are the nation's top rebounding team with a +11.8 margin. Quinnipiac also averages 16.8 offensive rebounds, which is tops in the nation. Quinnipiac is playing in a national postseason tournament for the fourth time in the last five years. It is the Bobcats' second appearance in the CIT. The Bobcats have reached the 20-win mark in three of the last five years. Three Quinnipiac players were named to the MAAC all-conference team. Ike Azotam earned first team recognition, Ousmane Drame was selected to the second team and Zaid Hearst was named to the third team. Ike Azotam (16.5 ppg., 10.2 rpg.) and  Ousmane Drame (13.7 ppg., 10.3 rpg.) both average a double-double.

2014 COLLEGE INSIDER TOURNAMENT

The sixth annual CIT features a 32-team field made up of non-BCS programs not participating in the NCAA or NIT. All 31 games are played on campus sites. Future round opponents are determined after the results of the previous round. The second round is slated for Mar. 21-22, the quarterfinals are Mar. 25-27, the semifinals are Apr. 1 and the championship game is Apr. 3. Both the semifinals and the championship game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.