March 7, 2009

Harvard Spoils Senior Night; Tops Bulldogs 69-59

March 7, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Jeremy Lin scored 19 points to lead four players in double figures as Harvard edged Yale 69-59 in the season finale before a crowd of 1,805 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Oliver McNally added 16 points for the Crimson, who snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Bulldogs. Travis Pinick paced Yale with 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

The Bulldogs end the season with a 13-15 overall record and an 8-6 Ivy mark, which currently has them all alone in second place. Princeton, with a victory at Penn on Tuesday night, can also finish with an 8-6 league record. Yale was picked to finish third in the preseason Ivy media poll.

In the first meeting with Harvard in February, the Bulldogs shot 55.2 percent and scored 87 points in a 19-point victory. It was a different story on Saturday. It was the Crimson (14-14, 6-8 Ivy) who had the hot night from the field, shooting 52.9 percent, while holding Yale to only 45.8 percent.

"We just had a night where we weren't particularly sharp," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "Give Harvard credit. They played very well."

The score was tied at 38-38 with 17:33 left, but Harvard seized control with a 15-5 run over the next seven minutes. Yale never got closer than nine the rest of the way. The Bulldogs committed nine turnovers in the second half.

"We turned it over in some key situations," Jones said.

The first half featured five ties and seven lead changes. The Bulldogs took a 15-9 lead on Chris Andrews's three-pointer with 12:03 left, but the Crimson answered with an 8-2 run. Drew Housman's jumper as time expired gave Harvard a 33-32 advantage at the intermission.

Housman finished with 15 points and six assists, while Wright added 11 points and six rebounds.

Yale seniors Pinick, Ross Morin, Chris Andrews, Brandon Rose and Ari Greenberg were all making their last appearance in the Amphitheater and were honored in a pre-game ceremony. Morin finished with 17 points and six rebounds. Andrews scored six points and was forced to play 31 minutes with Porter Braswell out with an illness. Rose took over the backup point guard role and played six minutes.

"I'll have wonderful memories of my time at Yale," said Andrews, who returned for his senior season after missing nearly two years with injuries. "I value every chance I've had to play. I've been able to build a lot of relationships."

Yale's Class of 2009 finished with a 32-24 record in Ivy games. Twice during their tenure, the Bulldogs have entered the final weekend still in contention for the Ivy title.

Yale has now finished with a .500 or better record in league play in each of the last nine years.

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Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity