M. BASKETBALL | Playing the Killer P’s

The chances of the men’s basketball team winning the Ivy League title and playing in the NCAA tournament are slim — but they still exist.

Likely needing to win their last four regular season games and get some help in order to earn a bid to the Big Dance, the Bulldogs (11-13, 6-4 Ivy) look to build on their momentum on last weekend’s sweep. This weekend, the Elis travel south to battle Penn (8-15, 4-5) at the historic Palestra tonight at 7 p.m. before playing third-place Princeton (10-12, 5-4) on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Yale will have revenge on its mind when it travels to Philadelphia to play a Quaker team that came to New Haven and prevailed in a tight contest two weeks ago. Despite not having a single lead in the contest, the Bulldogs were down just 64-63, with 1:04 on the clock when the Quakers closed the game with four points in a row.

The 68-63 loss was the second consecutive frustrating Saturday loss for the Bulldogs, as the team had lost by three at Dartmouth (8-16, 6-4) the week before.

The Quakers are coming off two home losses against Harvard (11-13, 3-7) and Dartmouth and currently sit in sixth place in the Ancient Eight standings. Offensively, Tyler Bernardini, who is averaging 14 points per game, leads the squad in scoring.

When the Elis face Princeton and the league’s best scoring defense tomorrow night, the team will be looking to finish a season sweep of the Tigers. Two weeks to the day, Princeton arrived in New Haven with an unblemished 4-0 Ivy League record, only to be dominated from the tip against a more physical Bulldogs squad.

The loss started a downhill slide for the Tigers. Princeton has lost four of its last five and has plummeted from a game up on Cornell (18-8, 8-2) in the standings to 2½ behind the Big Red.

At 5-4 in conference play, the Tigers also are still mathematically in the race but need to run the table and get plenty of help as well. Dan Mavraides’s 11.4 points per game lead Princeton.

As for the Bulldogs, three players — captain Ross Morin ’09, forward Travis Pinick ’09, and guard Alex Zampier ’10 — average double figures. Zampier leads the way with a 13.1 points per game average, which ranks seventh in the Ancient Eight.

Comments