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Bulldogs Set For CIT Quarterfinal Matchup At Columbia

Matt Townsend (photo by Alexandra Schmeling)
Matt Townsend (photo by Alexandra Schmeling)

Yale Seeks To Avenge Earlier Loss At Levien Gym

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Pre-Game Reception, Ticket Information 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale remains one of the dwindling number of teams still playing as the month of March nears its end. The Bulldogs hope to extend their season for another week when they play at Columbia in the quarterfinals of the Tournament (CIT) on Wednesday. Tipoff at Levien Gym is slated for 7 p.m.

The tournament has served as a bit of redemption for a Yale team that was disappointed in how it finished the regular season. The Bulldogs (17-13) knocked off a talented Quinnipiac squad 69-68 in the first round at Lee Amphitheater and then went on the road and won 71-66 at Holy Cross on Saturday. Wednesday's game will give Yale the chance to exact a bit of revenge for a 62-46 loss to the Lions at Levien late in the regular season.

The Bulldogs have been getting contributions from a number of players during their tournament run. There are three players – Javier Duren (15.0 ppg.), Justin Sears (14.5 ppg.) and Matt Townsend (10.0 ppg.) – averaging double figures in the two games.  In addition, Yale's bench has contributed 44 points. That should serve the team well as it looks forward to next season. There are only two seniors currently on the active roster, and Yale's top eight scorers all return.

The tournament also gave James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball, the opportunity to reach a significant milestone. Jones became the winningest men's basketball coach in school history after Saturday's victory over Holy Cross. Jones, in his 15th season, has 207 wins, one more than Hall of Fame coach Joe Vancisin, who guided the Bulldogs from 1956 to 1975.


Watch The Fouls – Columbia is fourth in the nation in free throw shooting, so the Bulldogs need to limit the Lions' attempts at the line.

Perimeter Defense  – The Lions have made 263 three-pointers on the season and have four players with at least 38 treys. Javier Duren leads Yale with 35 three-pointers.

Control The Post– Yale got to the free throw line 47 times and had a 32-23 edge in rebounding in the 69-59 victory over Columbia at Lee Amphitheater. The Bulldogs would love for Wednesday's game to be a similar physical affair.


Wednesday will serve as the rubber match in the season series between Yale and Columbia. Each team won on its home floor during the regular season. At Lee Amphitheater, Justin Sears scored 22 points as the Bulldogs powered their way to a 69-59 win. In New York, Alex Rosenberg led three Columbia players in double figures with 18 points, Steve Frankoski added 17 and Maodo Lo had 16 in a 62-46 win. The two teams have had some intense battles at Levien Gym in recent years. Two years ago, Yale trailed by 21 with 11:30 left in the second half before rallying for a 59-58 victory, and three years ago, the Bulldogs needed double overtime to knock off the Lions, 87-81. Columbia, though, has won straight in the arena.


Columbia (21-12) is making its fourth postseason appearance and its first since 1968. This is the first non-NCAA Tournament the Lions are participating in. With the two victories in the CIT, the Lions have improved to 4-4 in postseason games. Columbia's 21 wins are the most since the 1967-68 team went 23-5 and won the Ivy League title. The Lions were 8-6 in Ivy play, their first better than .500 league record since 1992-93. Like Yale, Columbia won its CIT first round game in dramatic fashion. Maodo Lo  hit a step-back jumper as time expired to knock off Valparaiso, 58-56. The Lions then cruised to a second-round win over Eastern Michigan. Columbia had two players earn All-Ivy recognition. Alex Rosenberg (15.9 ppg.) was a first team selection, while Lo (14.5 ppg.) earned second team recognition.


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.

All Times EST




Yale (17-13) @ Columbia (21-12) 7:00 pm


VMI (21-12) @ Ohio (25-11) 7:00 pm


San Diego (18-16) @ Pacific (17-15) 10:00 pm




Towson (25-10) @ Murray State (20-11) 8:00 pm

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity