M. BASKETBALL | Senior Night and Harvard on tap for Bulldogs

The men’s basketball team lost to Harvard two weeks ago, but it will get a chance at revenge Saturday night.

The Bulldogs (12–12, 5–5 Ivy) will host the Dartmouth Big Green (5–19, 1–9) Friday night. Yale will then face the Harvard Crimson (20–4, 8–1), the highest-ranked team remaining on the Bulldogs’ schedule, at the John J. Amphitheater for a Senior Night showdown Saturday night. Yale beat Dartmouth 69–60 and lost to Harvard 78–75 two weeks ago.

On Feb. 11, the Bulldogs made the trek up to Cambridge, Mass., for their game with the Crimson. With the score tied 70–70 and 1:37 left in the game, Harvard’s Christian Weber made a layup to give the Crimson the lead. Yale could not make up the difference, as Harvard scored six more points to secure the win. The next night against Dartmouth, 30 points and 11 rebounds from center Greg Mangano ’12 made the difference, and the Bulldogs came home with a weekend split.

Harvard currently holds first place in the Ivy League with one more win than second-place Princeton. However, both schools have the same number of losses and, with only four games left on the Crimson’s schedule and no Ivy League tournament, it will be important for them to get two wins this weekend. Harvard is led by junior forward Keith Wright who is averaging 16.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game in conference play. Only Mangano has better numbers in those categories in Ivy League play. Fellow forward Kyle Casey is having a solid season as well with 13.8 points and seven rebounds.

Unlike its travel partner Harvard, Dartmouth is the last ranked team in the Ivy League. The Big Green have only one win in their last 13 games. One of the Big Green’s biggest problems is putting points on the board. Its leading scorer, sophomore guard R.J. Griffin, is averaging just nine points per game. As a whole, the team is averaging only 57.4 points per game this season, last in the conference. If the Bulldogs, get off to a fast start, Dartmouth may have difficulty finding points to get back in the game.

Although the Bulldogs’ hopes of an Ivy League championship are almost mathematically dead, that does not mean that they have nothing to play for. Mangano is leading the Ivy League in points, rebounds and blocks and is making a serious case for Ivy League Player of the Year. Furthermore, seniors Porter Braswell ’11, Raffi Mantilla ’11 and Alfonso Costa ’11 will say goodbye to the John J. Lee Amphitheater and be honored on Senior Night against Harvard.

“Anything can happen in this league,” Mangano said after last week’s tough loss to Princeton. “So we’re going to play tomorrow night like we’re playing for first place because you can’t go downhill from here.”

With that attitude, the Bulldogs will look to get two wins and push their record back above .500. The Elis’ matchup with Dartmouth will tip at 7 p.m. tonight. The battle with the Crimson is scheduled to start at 6 p.m on Saturday.

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