Both games against archrival Harvard last year went down to the wire. Yale’s first game against the Cantabs this year was anything but a nailbiter.
Yale (12-5, 2-1 Ivy) shot just 31.7 percent on the way to a 65-35 drubbing by no. 23 Harvard (15-2, 3-0 Ivy). Forward Greg Mangano ’12 said that the Elis were disappointed in their performance.
“It’s embarrassing,” Mangano said. “That’s the word for it… we got embarrassed on our home court.”
In the first half, the Crimson showed why they are the fourth-best in Division I in points allowed per game. They held the Bulldogs to 6-20 shooting for 19 points before the break.
Perhaps more telling were the shots that weren’t taken. Guard Austin Morgan ’13 was held to only one shot and no attempts from beyond the arc, where he is a .442 percent shooter.
The Bulldogs held the Crimson starters to only 15 points, but Harvard’s bench contributed 15 first-half points to open up the lead. Freshman forward Steve Moundou-Missi led the way with eight points and two steals.
“We talk about the two “B” words for us thus far that have been outstanding for us — our bench and our balance” Amaker said. “That’s the key for us if we can continue to get solid contributions from our younger players and have balance out on the floor.”
The Cantabs played stifling defense to keep the Bulldogs at bay, but Yale helped Harvard on several occasions.
Mangano said that the team was “lackadaisical” on offense. The Bulldogs committed 22 turnovers.
“There were several turnovers that I still don’t know how we lost the ball,” Jones said. “We just fumbled it out of our hands with no pressure at all.”
Despite Harvard’s high-energy defense, Mangano still scored 17 points, but he had a season-low four rebounds. No other Bulldog had more than four points, whereas six Cantabs scored five or more points. Guard Laurent Rivard led the Crimson with 18 points.
In advance of tonight’s men’s basketball game against Harvard, we sent a few questions over to the Harvard Crimson’s basketball reporter and Sports Chair, Martin Kessler, to see what the Bulldogs can expect to see after tipoff.
1) What can Yale expect from Harvard tomorrow?
Harvard coach Tommy Amaker often talks about playing inside-out. The Crimson likes to establish forwards Kyle Casey and Keith Wright in the post early, and then kick it out to its shooters on the perimeter. But with Greg Mangano and Jeremiah Kreisberg patrolling the paint, it will be difficult for Harvard’s bigs to have their way. This means that a heavy burden will fall on the shoulders of wings Laurent Rivard, Christian Webster, and Oliver McNally. When they are hitting their shots, the Crimson is tough to beat. But when the shots aren’t falling (as was the case in the game at Fordham), Harvard is vulnerable to lose to any team, especially a talented team like Yale.
2) Is Keith Wright a legitimate threat to repeat as Ivy League Player of the Year?
Unless Wright starts averaging 20 and 10 the rest of the way, the answer is no (though I’d love to see Mangano’s reaction if he did). Wright’s role as the Crimson’s most important player hasn’t changed, but his numbers are down this year. With the addition of rookie forwards Steve Moundou-Missi and Jonah Travis, Harvard is much deeper down low resulting in fewer opportunities for Wright. Also, many of Harvard’s opponents have been keying in on Wright defensively, sending a number of 2-3 zones at the Crimson.
3) Who’s the unsung hero for the Crimson squad?
Oliver McNally may not put up jaw-dropping stats, but the co-captain’s importance to the Crimson should not be understated. McNally is Harvard’s vocal leader. When Harvard trailed St. Joseph’s at the half earlier this season, it was McNally who got the team fired up in the locker room. He can also knock down some threes, and when he does, he’ll let opposing fans know.
4) Can you please bring me a burger and s’mores malt from Mr. Bartley’s? (Post-game Wenzels on me)
This doesn’t sound like a fair exchange. Maybe if you throw in one of those steering wheel club things so my car doesn’t get stolen tomorrow night, I’ll consider it.
5) Now that any Harvard coach with any hope of a bright future in football has sought refuge in the friendly confines of the Yale Bowl, do you think that y’all will be able to keep up this streak of luck (and occasional blow-outs)?
As long as you don’t start stealing players, I think Harvard will be OK. Actually, I probably shouldn’t give you any ideas.
6) What is one thing that Harvard MUST do to beat Yale Friday?
Take out Mangano’s kneecaps. Or stay out of foul trouble.
7) Final score prediction:
I’m expecting this one to go down to the wire. The last two times that happened at John J. Lee, things didn’t turn out so well for the Crimson. But it’s a new year, and Friday night will be different. My prediction: 68-65 Harvard.
Facing defeat in their first game of Ivy League play in front of a home crowd, the Bulldogs pulled through and answered the call against Brown to win 68-64.
The victory came despite trailing the Bears for more than 35 minutes of the game.
Down 54-47 after Brown’s guard, Matt Sullivan, hit a lay-up with 7:44 to play, Yale (11-4, 1-0 Ivy) initiated its comeback. Brown (5-12, 0-1 Ivy) continued to hold off the Elis and milk the clock until guard Austin Morgan ’13 knocked down a three to make it 61-58 with less than three minutes remaining.
Head coach James Jones then made the decision to switch captain and defensive-stopper Reggie Willhite ’12 onto Bear guard Sean McGonagill – with immediate results. Willhite stole possession from McGonagill and slammed the ball home on the breakaway to cut the deficit to one with just 1:42 left to play. Jones qualified Willhite’s steal, however, pointing out that McGonagill played all 40 minutes of the contest.
“One reason why [Willhite] gets the steal and takes the ball away is the kid played 40 minutes,” Jones said. “The kid was a little tired.”
The captain continued to take control of the game, again stripping McGonagill and nailing a jumper to give the Bulldogs a 62-61 advantage. The lead was Yale’s first since 17:26 in the first half.
Guard Mike Grace ’13 and Morgan converted all six of their free throws in the last minute to preserve the win.
Yale wilted under Brown’s three-point barrage in the first half but kept the game close, trailing only 38-31 at the break. Brown shot 60 percent from beyond the arc in the first half, led by McGonagill’s perfect three-for-three. McGonagill led all scorers with 16 first-half points.
Despite featuring a much smaller front-court – junior forward Andrew McCarthy was the tallest starter at 6’8” – the Bears dominated the Elis on the glass. Brown outrebounded Yale 15-10 before intermission.
Yale will travel to Brown for a rematch next Saturday Jan. 21.
The women’s basketball team experienced an early exit from the Women’s National Invitational Tournament with an 85–61 first round-loss to Boston College on March 17 at John J. Lee Amphitheater.
It was the first time the Bulldogs had played in a postseason tournament since 1979 and their first-ever appearance in the tournament.
Yale (14–15, 10–4 Ivy) stayed competitive with BC for the beginning of the first half, but the Eagles (19–12, 5–9 ACC) used an 11–0 run to seize control of the game and build a 19-point lead at halftime. It was too big of a deficit to overcome in the second half, and BC left New Haven with a victory.
“I don’t think we knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into,” guard Allie Messimer ’13 said. “I don’t think we were ready to go out there with the same level of competitiveness that we needed to. That’s just what it came down to, we just weren’t ready to compete at the level that they were.”
Boston College guard Jaclyn Thoman led all scorers with 23 points. Forward Stefanie Murphy added 18 points and seven rebounds, while center Carolyn Swords finished with nine points and a game-high 11 boards.
Forward Janna Graf ’14 paced the Bulldogs with 15 points, four rebounds and three steals. Forwards Mady Gobrecht ’11 and Michelle Cashen ’12 tallied 10 and 11 points, respectively. Gobrecht also added five boards and four steals for Yale.
The Bulldogs took an early 3–2 advantage after guard Aarica West ’13 sank a three-pointer, but it would turn out to be Yale’s only lead of the game. Though the Elis were able to keep pace with the Eagles over the next eight minutes, BC used an 11–0 run to go up 30–15 at the 5:56 mark. The Eagles maintained control of the game for the remainder of the half and took a 47–28 edge into the locker room.
Boston College shot a scorching 70 percent (19 of 27) from the field in the first half and also outrebounded the Elis, 21–6.
“I think we allowed ourselves to be too intimidated by them at the beginning of the game,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said in a press release. “We didn’t attack them. If we had attacked them from the get-go, we might have been in the game, but we got too far behind.”
The Eagles only added to their lead after halftime and opened the second half by scoring six unanswered points to put the Bulldogs in a 25-point hole that they could not dig themselves out of. Though the Elis were able to trim the deficit to 58–40 after Mady Gobrecht knocked down two shots from the charity stripe with 9:35 left, that would be as close as they would get, as BC was able to maintain its offensive tempo and come away with the win.
The loss brought an end to one of the program’s most successful campaigns in years. Along with reaching the postseason for the first time in 32 years, the Elis also finished Ivy League play tied for second place with Harvard — their best final standing since the 1988-’89 season. The Bulldogs also completed a sweep of Harvard this season, a feat they had not achieved since the 1993-94 season.
“Coach G. said it best at the end of the game: you can’t let your last game define your season,” Messimer said. “We’re very happy with what we accomplished this year.”
After a thrilling weekend that included an emotional Senior Night victory over Harvard, 70–69, the men’s basketball team’s season will come to an end this Saturday in upstate New York.
The Bulldogs (14–12, 7–5 Ivy) will travel to the Big Apple for a Friday night matchup with the Columbia Lions (14–12, 5–7) before meeting the Cornell Big Red (8–18, 4–8) Saturday night in Ithaca. The Bulldogs will look to build off of the big Senior Night win over the Crimson last Saturday.
Last weekend, the Bulldogs hosted the Dartmouth Big Green and the Harvard Crimson for the last pair of games at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Friday night, the Bulldogs and Big Green finished regulation tied at 65. In the overtime period, five crucial points from guard Isaiah Salafia ’14 helped the Bulldogs to a 79–75 win.
One night later, the Bulldogs hosted the visiting Crimson. Senior guards Porter Braswell ’11, Raffi Mantilla ’11 and Alfonso Costa ’11 were honored before the contest. A visiting, excited Harvard student section and a packed Yale student section sent verbal barbs back and forth in what proved to be an intense and exciting matchup.
With the teams tied at 66, Yale forward Reggie Willhite ’12 drove into the paint and made a layup to put the Bulldogs up two. But Harvard guard Christian Webster converted a three-point play to put the Crimson up one. On the ensuing Yale possession, a perfect pass from Willhite to forward Jeremiah Kreisberg ’14 led to a layup. On the last possession of the game, Harvard guard Brandyn Curry tried a shot that rolled off the rim. The team and students rushed the floor, and Yale left with a 70–69 win.
The Bulldogs will look to keep up the intensity of last weekend as they travel to Cornell and Columbia. The weekend begins with a matchup against the Lions. Noruwa Agho, a second-team All-Ivy League player last season, leads Columbia with 16.1 points and 4.4 assists. However, in the game at Yale early in the season, the Bulldogs held Agho to only six points and forced him to commit six turnovers.
After reaching the Sweet Sixteen last season, former Cornell head coach Steve Donahue left for Boston College, and six of its seven leading scorers were lost to graduation. This season, the Big Red got off to a slow start, but they have surged as of late. The Bulldogs know they cannot take Cornell lightly, as last time these two teams matched up, Yale overcame a ten point deficit in the final two minutes to pull out a 71–70 victory.
This season, guard Chris Wroblewski has led Cornell, averaging 14.3 points and 5.7 assists. Teammate Drew Ferry led the Big Red with 18 points in their loss to Yale.
Regardless of the outcomes this weekend, the Bulldogs’ season will come to an end. With first and second place out of reach, the Bulldogs are playing for third place in the Ancient Eight. The Ivy League is the only conference in Division I basketball that does not conduct a postseason men’s basketball tournament, and Yale head coach James Jones thinks that this is a problem.
“Every game we’ve played in the League has been nine or less points,” head coach James Jones said. “That being said, it would be a great year to have a tournament because there are so many teams so close to each other, but que será, será.”
Without a tournament, the Elis will try to close with two wins. The Bulldogs’ matchup with Columbia will tip off at 7 p.m. Friday night. The team will then finish its season against Cornell on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
The women’s basketball team has not earned a postseason berth in 32 years. This weekend, the Elis have a chance to end that drought.
The Bulldogs (13–13, 9–3 Ivy) will take on Columbia (6–20, 5–7) tonight and Cornell (6–20, 3–9) tomorrow in their last weekend of the season.
The Elis currently sit in second place in the Ivy League standings after sweeping Harvard and Dartmouth last week and the team still has a shot to claim the Ivy League title. Yale would need to win both of its games this weekend, and first-place Princeton (21–4, 10–1) would have to drop two of its last three games to force a playoff match between the two teams for the Ancient Eight crown.
Still, the Bulldogs can secure second-place in the conference and the Ivy League’s automatic bid to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) with a sweep this weekend. The last time Yale competed in a postseason tournament was in the 1978-’79 season.
“We have something to play for,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said in a press release last Saturday. “We have the possibility of postseason play. We have to take care of business [this] weekend.”
The Elis’ playoff push begins tonight with a matchup against Columbia. The Lions enter the contest coming off a weekend split, defeating Penn 61–54 on Friday night, before falling 65–52 to Princeton on Saturday.
The Bulldogs will be looking to avenge the 67–57 road loss they suffered at the hands of the Lions earlier this season. Though the Elis were able to keep pace with Columbia throughout the first half, the Lions used a second half offensive surge to take control of the game and come away with the win.
Yale leads the all-time series against the Lions, 34–15.
The next day, the Elis will host Cornell on Senior Night. The Bulldogs will honor their two seniors, captain Yoyo Greenfield ’11 and forward Mady Gobrecht ’11, prior to tip-off.
The Big Red has struggled this season and had lost eight consecutive games before snapping that streak with a 57–51 win over Penn last Saturday. The Elis took the first game of the season series against Cornell on Feb. 4, as Mady Gobrecht scored 18 points and Megan Vasquez ’13 added 14 to lead Yale to a 57–49 win in Ithaca, N.Y.
Yale holds a 42–22 edge in the all-time series against Cornell.
Tip-off for both games is slated for 7 p.m. at John J. Lee Amphitheater.
The women’s basketball team achieved a trio of sweeps this weekend: a weekend sweep, a Dartmouth sweep and a Harvard sweep.
The Bulldogs (13–13, 9–3 Ivy) defeated Dartmouth (7–18, 3–8) on Friday night and Harvard (16–9, 8–3) the next day, repeating the sweep that they completed on Feb. 11 and 12 at home.
The two wins lifted the Elis up to second place in the Ivy League standings with just two games left in the season. Yale currently trails first-place Princeton (21–4, 10–1) by one-and-a-half games.
The Elis kicked off the weekend in Hanover, N.H., where they used a strong defensive and shooting performance to power past Dartmouth and earn a 70–45 victory.
“When we’re hitting on all cylinders like that, we’re really tough to beat,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said. “We were really committed to getting the job done defensively, and we also knocked some shots down, so that’s a tough combination.”
Forwards Mady Gobrecht ’11 and Ericka von Kaeppler ’13 each scored 13 points to lead the Bulldogs. Gobrecht also added six rebounds and six assists. Forward Michelle Cashen ’12 grabbed a game-high 10 boards and scored eight points, while guard Allie Messimer ’13 finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
The Elis shot 42.2 percent from the field in the contest and also won the battle of the boards by a 49–32 margin.
Guard Faziah Steen paced the Big Green with 12 points and three assists, but the Dartmouth squad shot just 27.8 percent from the floor in the effort. The Bulldogs opened the game by sinking three consecutive three-point shots to jump out to an early 9–0 lead at the 14:37 mark.
Four minutes later, Cooper hit a jumper that narrowed the deficit to 15–7, but the Elis responded by scoring nine unanswered points to go up 24–7 with 5:40 left in the half.
Still, the Big Green battled back and went on a 9–4 run to cut Yale’s lead to 28–16. But captain Yoyo Greenfield ’11 drained back-to-back three-pointers to give the Bulldogs an 18-point advantage at the 1:29 mark — a margin it brought into the locker room at halftime.
“I think we played really good defense, and we forced a lot of turnovers, which turned into fast breaks,” Greenfield said. “We really pushed the ball tonight, and everyone also shot well, so that helped a lot.”
The Bulldogs continued to be the dominant team throughout the second half and pushed their lead to as high as 30 points after guard Aarica West ’13 sank a shot from beyond the arc at the 5:16 mark.
Though the Big Green closed out the game with a 6–1 run over the final 4:30, it could not overcome the deficit, and the Elis were able to come out with their second win over Dartmouth this season.
“I think it’s a great time to be reaching our peak and playing as well as we can be, especially going into [Saturday]’s game and our last two games,” Greenfield said. “It gives us confidence, and we’re all really pumped about tomorrow night.”
The next day the Bulldogs traveled to Cambridge for a showdown with archrival Harvard. The Bulldogs used a strong first half to build a 10-point lead at halftime and made clutch plays in the second half to stay in control of the game and come away with a 78–64 win.
It was the first time the Elis had won at Cambridge since 2001 and the first time they had swept the season series since 1994.
“This win is awesome,” Vasquez said. “It means so many things. It was an emotional win that put us at .500 for the season, and we’ve swept Harvard. It’s been a long time since our program could say that.”
Vasquez recorded 23 points to lead all scorers and also added seven rebounds in the effort. Cashen totaled 17 points and eight boards, while forward Janna Graf ’14 tallied 13 points. West chipped in with seven points, nine rebounds, six assists and six steals.
The Bulldogs also won the battle of the boards for the second night in a row, outrebounding the Crimson 40–33.
Harvard was led by forward Emma Markley, who finished with 17 points. Guards Victoria Lippert and Brogan Berry added 14 and 13 points, respectively.
The game started off with both teams trading baskets for the first four minutes of the contest. But the Elis took control of the game after a layup from Gobrecht gave the them their first lead of the game and sparked a 19–4 run that gave Yale a 27–10 edge with 8:47 left in the half.
The Crimson countered with six unanswered points to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 27–16, but Messimer sank a shot from downtown to end the run and push Yale’s advantage up to 14 at the 3:15 mark. Still, Harvard closed out the first half with back-to-back layups from Elise Gordon that pulled the Crimson within 10 points at halftime.
Harvard continued to battle in the second half and went on an 11–3 run to reduce the deficit to four points with 8:28 left on the clock. But Vasquez came through for the Elis and drained a three-point shot and converted a three-point play to give Yale a 53–43 edge.
“I wasn’t really paying attention to the score,” Vasquez said. “I was just trying my hardest to attack the Harvard defense. I knew that they were vulnerable on transition defense, so I took advantage of the opportunity.”
The Crimson pulled within six points after Lippert hit a shot from beyond the arc with 1:14 left on the clock, but they would get no closer, as the Elis knocked down the shots they needed from the charity stripe to maintain their lead and emerge with the 78–64 victory.
“Beating Harvard anytime is a pretty cool thing, and to be able to do it twice in one year is pretty special,” coach Gobrecht said “It’s a compliment to them that it’s a big deal, that’s how much success their program has had. That’s kind of where the bar is, so you feel really good when you’re able to measure up.”
The Elis close out the season this weekend when they host Columbia and Cornell. Both games are scheduled for tip-off at 7 p.m. at John J. Lee Amphitheater.
The men’s basketball team’s overtime thriller with Dartmouth and “Senior Night” battle against Harvard will be remembered by its participants for a long time.
The Bulldogs (14–12, 7–5 Ivy) beat Dartmouth (5–21, 1–11) 79–75 in overtime with the help of 19 points from point guard Porter Braswell ’11. One night later, a Jeremiah Kreisberg ’14 bucket with 41 seconds remaining gave Yale a 70–69 win over Harvard (21–5, 10–2). Harvard’s Brandyn Curry’s shot rolled off the rim as time expired giving Yale the win on “Senior Night.”
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As Curry’s shot missed, Yale players rushed the court. The student section, which had been trading barbs with an enthusiastic group of Harvard supporters throughout the game, joined them in a mosh pit at halfcourt.
“I was asked a question early this week ‘what is your fondest memory of Yale?’,” Braswell said. “That [game] right there is my best memory of Yale, hands down, by far.”
Yale moved up to third place in the Ivy League standings after the pair of wins, but, with just two games remaining in the season, the championship is out of the Bulldogs’ reach.
In Friday night’s matchup, Dartmouth got off to a good start and held the lead for the majority of the game’s first 12 minutes. With 8:19 remaining in the half, Dartmouth’s R.J. Griffin nailed a three-pointer to give the Big Green a 23–17 lead. Yale countered, however, with a 8–0 run sparked by a Braswell layup. After taking a 27–25 lead, the Bulldogs held the advantage until a dunk from Dartmouth’s Clive Weeden gave the Big Green a 33–32 lead that they would carry into the half.
“Dartmouth did a real nice job,” head coach James Jones said in a press release. “They’ve shown they are capable of being pretty good. They beat Cornell by [seven] and had a lead on Harvard in the second half. They made some shots, and we didn’t do a good job of stopping penetration.”
The second half was just as back-and-forth as the first. A free throw from Dartmouth’s Ronnie Dixon tied things at 59 with just under three minutes to go in the contest. After Braswell and the Big Green’s David Rufful traded layups, guard Austin Morgan ’13 hit a jumper to give Yale a 63–61 advantage with two minutes left. A Kreisberg foul on Rufful led to two game-tying free throws, but Kreisberg got right back by drawing a foul on Rufful and hitting both free throws. Trailing 65–63 with less than a minute remaining, Dartmouth turned to Dixon who, with 47 seconds left, made a layup that evened the game at 65 and drew a foul. After Dixon missed the ensuing free throw, the Big Green came down with the rebound but were unable to score. On Yale’s possession, Morgan’s three-pointer as time expired was off target, sending the game to overtime.
In the extra frame, two layups got Dartmouth out to a quick four-point advantage. After Braswell made two free throws, the Bulldogs turned to guard Isaiah Salafia ’14, who sank a three to give the Elis the one-point lead.
“If you don’t have confidence to shoot it, you shouldn’t be out there,” Salafia said in a press release. “Coach told me in the huddle not to be tentative. It was definitely a relief when it went in.”
A Greg Mangano ’12 jumper and two free throws from Salafia helped Yale extend the lead and the Bulldogs were able to pull away in the closing minutes for the 79–75 victory.
Mangano finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks, his 11th double-double of the season. Forward Reggie Willhite ’12 tallied his first double-double of the season with 10 points, 11 rebounds and four steals. Kreisberg added 14 points and six rebounds. Salafia finished with seven points. Dixon led the Big Green with 18 points.
One night later, the Bulldogs took the court against Harvard. Before the game, senior guards Braswell, Raffi Mantilla ’11 and Alfonso Costa ’11 were honored with their families. After honoring players in the senior class, it would be the freshman, Kreisberg, who would start the scoring with two pretty baskets from the low post. Yale jumped out to an 8–4 lead, but Harvard battled back with a 9–2 run. The Crimson would take the lead and hold it for the remainder of the half, entering the locker room with a 35–31 lead.
The Bulldogs were unable to find an answer in the first half for the Crimson’s Kyle Casey and Christian Webster. The two tallied 11 points each through the first 20 minutes. Despite being outshot and outrebounded in the first half, the Bulldogs remained in the game due in large part to only one turnover.
“That’s a huge difference from the first game [against Harvard] for us,” Jones said. “We turned it over 18 times in the first game and lost by three and really didn’t give ourselves an opportunity to win. Our guys did a really nice job of handling their pressure and making plays without turning it over.”
The Bulldogs came out for the second half and turned immediately to Morgan. Morgan nailed a three-pointer 18 seconds into the half. After missing an attempt from beyond the arc, Morgan got another opportunity and swished another three to give the Bulldogs a 37–35 lead.
“The first five minutes of the half are always important, so I just tried to come out and be aggressive,” Morgan said. “Fortunately, I hit two threes and was able to get us going.”
The teams traded the lead over the next eight minutes until a Mangano jump shot gave Yale a 50–48 lead with 11:24 left. At that point, Harvard embarked on a 9–0 run that quieted a raucous Yale crowd. But Yale began to slowly claw its way back into the game. Another Morgan three-pointer with exactly five minutes remaining brought Yale within 61–60. After Harvard extended its lead to 66–64 with 2:42 to go, Braswell got to the line and sank two free throws to tie the game. After Curry missed a layup, Willhite took the ball and raced down the court for a layup.
But it was Webster, the Crimson player who gave Yale fits all game, who converted a three-point play with 55 seconds left to give Harvard a 69–68 lead. On the ensuing Bulldog possession, Willhite lobbed a pass over the outstretched arms of Casey and into the hands of Kreisberg for an easy layup.
“It was the best pass of the night,” Kreisberg said. “Reggie looked at me, looked away, and looked off the weakside help. He just threw it off the top — perfect pass.”
Although Harvard’s Laurent Rivard missed a three with 30 seconds left, the Crimson came down with the offensive rebound and called a timeout. On the final play of the game, Harvard passed the ball on the perimeter until, in the closing seconds, Curry took the ball and drove into the lane for a shot over Mangano that could not find the bottom of the net.
As the clock buzzed, the team and Yale students rushed the court in celebration of the Bulldogs’ first home victory over Harvard since 2008.
“The crowd was rocking,” Braswell said. “It was awesome when they charged the court.”
Braswell finished with nine points while Morgan led the Elis with 16 points. Willhite contributed 15 points and eight assists. Mangano added another double-double of 11 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks, as fellow big man Kreisberg ended with 13 points. The Bulldogs finished with only three turnovers.
Webster led the Crimson with 22 points. Casey added 13 points and eight rebounds in only 25 minutes.
The Bulldogs will complete their season next weekend, as they travel to Columbia Friday night for 7 p.m. game before heading north to Cornell for a 7 p.m. matchup Saturday night.
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.
The women’s basketball team embarks on its final road trip of the season this weekend with a chance to gain some ground in the race for the Ivy League crown.
The Bulldogs (11–13, 7–3 Ivy) travel to Dartmouth (7–16, 3–6) tonight and Harvard (15–8, 7–2) on Saturday for key conference matchups. With only two weeks remaining in the season, the Elis would have to earn the sweep to keep their hopes for an Ivy League title alive. Yale, which is currently in third place, has a chance to overtake Harvard for second place this weekend and is just one and a half games behind first-place Princeton.
“We are fighting with Harvard right now for second place, so winning both of these games is extremely important,” guard Megan Vasquez ’13 said.
The Elis are coming off a weekend split against Princeton and Penn last week. Though the Bulldogs missed an opportunity to take over first place with a 73–57 loss to the Tigers on Friday night, they rebounded the following day with a 66–53 win over the Quakers.
Dartmouth enters the weekend fresh off a sweep of Cornell and Columbia last week and has won four of its last five games at home. In the first meeting between the Big Green and the Bulldogs this season, Vasquez scored 21 points and forward Janna Graf ’14 added 15 points to lift the Elis to a 66–53 victory.
Dartmouth leads the all-time series against Yale, 50-17.
After the matchup with Dartmouth, the Bulldogs will head to Cambridge to face archrival Harvard on Saturday. The Crimson is coming off a sweep of Cornell and Columbia and currently sits in second place in the Ancient Eight standings. Yale handed Harvard its first Ivy League loss this season on Feb. 11, as Graf scored 21 points to lead the Bulldogs to an 82–71 victory.
Harvard has the highest-scoring offense in the league, averaging 73.3 points per game. Junior guard Brogan Berry is the Crimson’s leading scorer with 14.2 points a night, which also ranks second in the conference. Harvard holds a 41-28 advantage in the all-time series against Yale.
“We know we have to come to play because we are playing on their home courts,” Vasquez said. “We have to be ready for them to be fired up. These are two important games that we have to win on the road.”
Tip-off against Dartmouth is slated for Friday at 7 p.m. in Hanover, N.H. The game against Harvard is set to begin at 6 p.m. in Cambridge, Mass.
The men’s basketball team has had an up and down season, but strong defensive performances have been a constant. The Bulldogs (12–12, 5–5 Ivy) are coming off of a weekend in which they lost 58–51 to Princeton (20–5, 8–1) but held the Tigers to a season-low 31.6 percent field goal shooting. On the season, Yale is second in the Ivy League in opponent’s field goal percentage and third in opponent’s points per game. On top of the Elis’ stellar defensive stats, center Greg Mangano ’12 claimed the Yale single-season blocks record last week and now has 71 with four games to play, surpassing Chris Dudley’s ’87 mark of 67.
The News spoke with head coach James Jones to discuss the team’s defensive schemes and personnel that have helped the team become one of the best defenses in the Ancient Eight.
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Q What kind of preparation goes into getting your defense ready for a game?
A Well, we fundamentally break it down from one-on-one to two-on-two to four-on-four to five-on-five.
Q You play a man-to-man defense the majority of the time. Why do you prefer that scheme?
A Because I think that when you play man-to-man, you can hold everybody accountable to what their job is. A zone defense is a little bit less directive and it leaves a little bit up to the guys to try to figure out. For me, being able to hold the guys accountable and let them know what their jobs are makes it a lot easier for everyone.
Q Under what circumstances do you switch away from that and switch to a zone?
A Well, sometimes you try to take a team out of a rhythm. You’re being scored upon and can’t get a stop. You want to take a team out of rhythm. You do it to slow a team down. You can do it to try to speed a team up. Just to try to break a team’s rhythm is really why you would try to do that. Or if you have a lead and the other team’s not really good from the three point arc and you want to protect the basket. But everybody in our league has three point shooters, so that’s usually not the case.
Q Porter Braswell ’11 and Austin Morgan ’13 start your defense up front. What is their responsibility and what have you thought of their performance so far this season?
A Porter’s responsibility is to control the middle of the floor and the other team’s point guard, containing penetration and stopping the ball. The wings, which would be Reggie Willhite ’12 and Austin Morgan, are going to deny their players the ball and make it hard for them to have entry passes to their offense. That’s the basis of our guards who can do a lot to control another team’s offense.
Q You mentioned Reggie and it seems like every game he’s on the other team’s best player and does a great job at that. What does he bring to your defense?
A He’s just the strongest, most athletic player that we have. He has some natural attributes and some instincts that really enable him to be a really good defender.
Q Inside you have Mangano, Jeremiah Kreisberg ’14 and Rhett Anderson ’12. What exactly are their responsibilities? And Greg’s been so dominant this season. What does he bring to the table?
A Rhett and Jeremiah’s responsibility is to try to take charges on any kind of penetration from the guard spot. And Greg’s responsibility, because he’s so adept at it, is to try to block shots and try to deter people from scoring at the basket, and he does an unbelievable job at that.
Q Do you feel that defense is more important than offense?
A Well, you can’t have one without the other. One leads to the other. I guess you could ask a coach “would you rather be on defense up two or on offense down two?” … I’m not sure what most people would do, but I would rather be on defense up two points, and try to get a stop to preserve the win as opposed to having to score.