January 3, 2009

Bulldogs Cruise To Easy Home Victory

Jan. 3, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - After a month on the road, a little home cooking was just what the Yale men's basketball team needed. Jordan Gibson scored 13 points to lead a balanced attack as the Bulldogs cruised to an 86-63 victory over MIT in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Yale was playing at home for the first time since a 76-66 victory over Holy Cross on Dec. 3.

"We've only had three games in our building," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "Playing in a hostile environment every night makes a huge difference, but we have to learn to play through that."

Gibson, who started in place of an injured Alex Zampier, was 6 of 10 from the field and added six rebounds, three steals, two blocks and an assist in 18 minutes.

"Jordan's role on this team is to get out in transition and get offensive rebounds," Jones said. "When he does those things, we're a pretty good basketball team."

Gibson was one of many players to contribute. Ross Morin and Travis Pinick both scored 12 points. Morin also grabbed nine rebounds, while Pinick added a career-high eight assists, five rebounds and two steals. Garrett Fiddler had nine points, Chris Andrews scored seven and Michael Sands and Greg Mangano contribued six apiece. In all, 13 players scored for the Bulldogs.

Yale (3-9) had assists on 30 of its 37 field goals. Porter Braswell dished out six assists and did not have a turnover in 17 minutes.

"As a team we played really well," Gibson said. "We just need to do that more consistently."

Jimmy Bartolotta had a game-high 32 points to pace the Engineers (7-4). He was 12 of 25 from the field and added three steals and three blocks in 35 minutes. Billy Johnson scored 13 points and Jamie Karraker added 12.

The score was tied at 10-10 after 6 minutes, 30 seconds, but the Bulldogs used an 11-2 run, capped by a Gibson layup, to seize control. Yale built the advantage to 13, 42-29, at the intermission.

After MIT pulled to within 10 with 14:00 left, the Bulldogs put the game away with a 14-3 run over the next four minutes, capped by a Pinick dunk. The lead grew to 26 when Brandon Rose hit a three-pointer from the baseline with 1:09 left. It was the first career points for Rose, a senior who is in his first year on the roster after spending two years as the team manager.

Yale outrebounded the Engineers 44-32, and the Bulldogs' bench outscored MIT's 36-2.

Yale plays at NJIT on Wednesday night and then is back home next Saturday to host Hartford in the final non-Ivy game of the season.

"We have two weeks to get better," Jones said. "We're trying to build a more positive attitude. We've played well enough to be in every game. We just have to get the rock over the mountain. There are a lot of positives for this basketball team."

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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