The men’s basketball team will try to secure at least a share of fourth place in the Ivy League this coming weekend when the Bulldogs round out their season — and the careers of captain Alex Zampier ’10, Josh Davis ’10, Paul Nelson ’10 and Jordan Gibson ’10. The Elis (11–8, 5–7 Ivy) wrap up the season against Columbia (10–16, 4–8) on Friday night, followed by Saturday’s Senior Night against conference-leader Cornell (25–4, 11–1).
For Zampier, the games mark the end of a decorated collegiate career. This season, he became the 23rd player in school history to score 1,000 career points, and he set school records for the most steals in a season and in a career. An honorable-mention All-Ivy selection last year, the captain was eighth in the Ivy League in scoring and posted the fourth-best season free-throw percentage in Eli history with an .848 mark his junior season. This season, the 6-foot-3-inch guard is an Ivy League Player of the Year candidate, averaging 17.2 points per game — good for third in the Ancient Eight.
But Cornell will try to spoil Senior Night for Zampier, Davis, Nelson and Gibson. The Big Red were nationally ranked this season before sixth-place Penn upset them Feb. 12. Their losses include a five-point decision against then-No. 1 Kansas and another to now-No. 1 Syracuse — both on the road. In the teams’ last meeting, the Big Red handled the Elis 90–71 in Ithaca, N.Y. Three Bulldogs scored in double figures: Zampier (11), Mike Sands ’11 (10) and Reggie Willhite ’13 (10). Cornell was led by a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double from center Jeff Foote. Big Red forwards Ryan Wittman and Jon Jaques, along with guard Louis Dale, all scored at least 15 points each to complement Foote.
But before head coach James Jones can focus on the Big Red, he will look to lead the Elis to a season sweep Friday night over the Lions — and Jones’ brother, Columbia head coach Joe Jones. The Lions are currently seventh in the league; among the Lions’ losses this season was a 79–64 decision against the Bulldogs in New York City on Feb. 6th. Zampier led the way for Yale in the win, scoring 18 points to go along with 13 from Nelson and 12 from Greg Mangano ’12.
With a sweep this coming weekend, the Bulldogs would not only upset a likely NCAA tournament team in Cornell but would also round out their conference season at 7–7 with at least a share of fourth place, despite being picked fifth in the preseason poll.
Both games are slated for 7 p.m. tip-offs at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.