The men’s basketball team has faced a tough early season schedule, and things do not get any easier this Saturday when they face the University of Vermont.
The Bulldogs (3–3) will travel to Burlington, Vt. to battle the Catamounts (5–1) who are riding a four-game win streak coming into the contest.
[ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”5387″ ]
The Catamounts dominated Darmouth 80–53 Wednesday night. Catamount senior guard Joey Accaoui hit five three-pointers and registered a game high 21 points. Evan Fjeld added 20 points and nine rebounds. Earlier in the season, Vermont, last year’s America East Conference Tournament Champions, edged Quinnipiac, 79–75 in Hamden, Conn. Yale fell to the Bobcats by nine points in their season opener. The Catamounts’ only loss on the year came at Connecticut, now the ninth-ranked team in the nation.
The Catamounts are led on the boards by freshman forward Brian Voekel and his 9.7 rebounds per game. Also on the Bulldogs’ radar is senior forward Evan Fjeld, who is the Catamounts’ leading scorer at 21.3 points per game and is pulling down 6.2 boards per game, second highest on the team.
“We need to play well as a team,” Morgan said. “They have a great home court and they’re a really good team.”
This year, the Bulldogs have looked to a variety of options. Four of the five starters, including center Greg Mangano ’12, guard Austin Morgan ’13, guard Porter Braswell ’11 and forward Reggie Willhite ’12, are averaging double figures in scoring. The Bulldogs’ ability to share the scoring burden across the team has produced a 42.8 field goal percentage and a solid 38.5 three-point shooting percentage.
In the game against Hartford, the Bulldogs used 22 points from Morgan and a career high 19 points from Willhite to fight off several Hartford comebacks. With Mangano in foul trouble for most of the game, the Elis were outrebounded 34–26. Saturday’s game presents an equally difficult battle on the glass as Vermont is averaging 40 rebounds per game, nearly nine more than the Bulldogs.
“[Rebounding is] extremely important,” Morgan said. “Going on the road is tough and if you don’t rebound, you don’t stand a chance.”
The Elis will look to move above .500 for the first time this year on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Patrick Gynasium in Burlington, Vt.