M. BASKETBALL | Home-and-home series begins

Riding the momentum of its first winning streak of the season, the men’s basketball team will travel to Providence, R.I., to square off against Brown (6-8, 0-0 Ivy) in the conference opener for both squads tonight at 7 p.m.

Although plagued with inconsistency throughout the non-conference portion of their schedule — a win over the Pac-10’s Oregon State (6-8), for example, coupled with a loss against Division 1 newcomer Bryant (2-15) — the Bulldogs (5-9, 0-0) are playing arguably their best ball of the season heading into the all-important 14-game conference schedule.

With only one NCAA tournament bid given to a low-major conference such as the Ivy League each season, the non-conference schedule proves to be just a tuneup for the portion of the season that really matters. And coming off three consecutive victories — most recently a 71-63 home win over Hartford (6-11) — the Bulldogs seem to be peaking at just the right time.

The Elis boast three double-digit scorers, led by guard Alex Zampier’s ’10 14.2 points per game average. Captain and forward Ross Morin ’09 is averaging 13.8 ppg and forward Travis Pinick ’09 is third at 10.1 ppg and leads the team in rebounding, grabbing 6.3 per contest.

The emergence of Pinick, a second team All-Ivy selection last season, in the previous handful of contests has been instrumental in the team’s success. In the Bulldogs’ six games over winter break, Pinick averaged 13.2 ppg and 7.3 rpg — including 14 points and nine boards in last Saturday’s win over Hartford.

Brown is led by the conference’s fourth-leading scorer, 6-foot-8 forward Matt Mullery, who is averaging 14.8 ppg and is 10th in the league in rebounding with 5.2 rpg.

Sophomore guard Adrian Williams is second on the Bears and 10th in the Ancient Eight in scoring, averaging 13.1 ppg, while senior forward Chris Skrelja is second in the conference in rebounding, averaging 6.9 rpg.

The two squads will finish their season series on Jan. 23 when the Bulldogs host the Bears at 7 p.m.

Comments

  • Joel Alderman 1951

    With a few exceptions, Yale's Ivy League basketball seasons begin with back to back, home and away games against Brown. For the past several years, including the current one, the games have been scheduled on a Friday, despite the fact that neither team has a game the following day.

    Friday seems to be a much less convenient day for players, students, and fans from the community. Brown and Yale are travel partners, when games are played on consecutive Fridays and Saturdays. But when they play each other, why do they have to play on Friday and then leave Saturday open? Even Saturday afternoon would probably be more attractive than Friday night.

    Why the fixation on Fridays for these games, when Saturdays are available?