March 6, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - It was a good start to Senior Weekend for the Yale men's basketball team. Ross Morin became the 22nd player in school history to score 1,000 career points, and Travis Pinick added a career-high 21 points as the Bulldogs rolled to a 74-62 victory over Dartmouth before a crowd of 1,689 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
Morin's milestone basket came with 3:33 left in the second half on a short jumper in the lane. It gave Yale a 66-52 lead.
"It was good to get it out of the way tonight so we can focus on Harvard tomorrow," said Morin, who finished with 19 points. "When I scored my 1,000th point in high school, I didn't think it would happen in college. I've just tried to be consistent for the last four years."
Eric Flato '08 was the last Yale player to reach the milestone. He did it last season.
"Ross has been a rock for this team," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "I always feel comfortable when the ball is in his hands. He's done a great job over the last four years."
Yale (13-14, 8-5 Ivy) seized control early. With the score tied at 4-4, the Bulldogs ran off eight straight points and were never seriously threatened the rest of the way. The lead grew to 16, 25-9, on Porter Braswell's three-pointer with 6:48 remaining, and Yale was ahead 32-18 at the intermission.
It was defense that sparked the surge. The Big Green (9-18, 7-6 Ivy) shot just 33.3 percent from the field in the first half, and the Bulldogs forced Dartmouth into 18 first-half turnovers.
"We watched the tape of the first game [a 57-54 Dartmouth win] and we saw that they reversed the ball pretty easily," Jones said. "Tonight we didn't give them an opportunity to run their offense."
In addition to his offensive output, Pinick, with the help of his teammates, did a good job containing Alex Barnett, who had only five points at halftime and finished with 12, nearly eight below his league-leading average. Barnett made only 4 of 19 shots from the field and was 1 for 6 from three-point range.
"He [Pinick] has really done a good job on him," Jones said. "Last year it was the same situation. Travis has the length and athleticism to match up with him. We really wanted to make him work hard to get the basketball."
Alex Zampier finished with 10 points and six rebounds for the Bulldogs, who have won four of their last five games. Garrett Fiddler added seven points, six rebounds and three blocks. Chris Andrews scored five points and Jordan Gibson had five points and three steals.
Jabari Trotter paced the Big Green with 13 points. Barnett, Marlon Sanders and Dan Biber each had 12.
Yale shot 56.8 percent from the field in the game and made 22 of 27 free throws. Morin was 10 for 10 from the line.
Despite the win, the Bulldogs were eliminated from the Ivy League title race. Cornell clinched its second straight crown with an 83-58 victory over Penn. Nevertheless, Yale, which was picked to finish third in the preseason media poll, can assure itself of a second-place finish with a win over Harvard on Saturday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity