Nov. 14, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A sellout crowd of 2,532 came to the John J. Lee Amphitheater to watch Yale take on Stanford on Friday night, and they weren't disappointed. The Bulldogs battled the Cardinal hard for 40 minutes before dropping a 75-67 decision in the season opener for both teams. The game featured seven ties and 13 lead changes.
Lawrence Hill paced Stanford with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Anthony Goods scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half. Alex Zampier had 15 points to lead Yale, while Ross Morin added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Yale took a 35-32 lead on Morin's layup in the first minute of the second half, but the Cardinal answered with a 20-8 run, which was highlighted by three straight three-pointers by Goods.
The Bulldogs got back within four, 57-53, with 6:47 remaining before Stanford scored the next nine points to regain control. Yale had one more run left, closing to within six on a Zampier three-pointer with 1:15 left. The Cardinal, though, made six free throws in the final 48 seconds to seal the win.
"Our guys really hung in there," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "We could have let it get away from us, but we kept getting back up."
The Bulldogs outrebounded Stanford 44-34, but made only seven of 16 free throws. Raffi Mantilla added a career-high 10 points for Yale.
"Raffi was very good tonight," Jones said. "He's been good in practice. He's a knockdown jump shooter, and we are counting on him to help us."
Jordan Gibson and Travis Pinick, who was limited to 16 minutes by foul trouble, both scored eight points. Garrett Fiddler had seven points and six rebounds, and Michael Sands contributed three points and eight rebounds.
Both teams struggled with their shooting from the field early in the game. The Cardinal missed its first six shots, but Yale only managed a 4-0 lead. Stanford's biggest lead of the first half was five on two occasions, but the Bulldogs managed to pull within one, 30-29, at the intermission.
The two teams were playing for the second straight year. The Cardinal topped Yale 72-61 last year in Palo Alto.
"I thought our effort was much better tonight than last year," Jones said. "There weren't a lot of similarities."
The sellout crowd, which gave the Bulldogs a nice ovation at the end of the game, was the first at Lee Amphitheater since an 86-71 victory over Harvard on Feb. 17, 2007.
"The atmosphere was terrific," said Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins, who earned his first coaching victory. "It was really a competitive environment. It's a great venue."
The Bulldogs are back in action next Tuesday when they travel to Vermont. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.
"It's hard to take anything positive from a loss," said Morin, "but it's early in the season. We have a couple of days of practice before our next game. Given time, we'll be all right."
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity
Video by Neil Horowitz '09, Yale Sports Publicity
Lee Amphitheter Atmosphere Video:
Video by David Dikranian