The Yale men’s basketball team will look to build on last Friday’s win at Brown, as the Bulldogs enter a crucial weekend in Ivy League play at John J. Lee Amphitheater. The Bulldogs (7–12, 1–1) will face off against Penn (1–13, 0–0) tonight, and will follow that up with a contest tomorrow night against Princeton ( 9–5, 0–0).
The Elis are coming off a strong performance against Brown, a 71–63 win that saw captain Alex Zampier ’10 score 22 points en route to winning this week’s Ivy League Player of the Week award. Zampier is currently leading the Ivy League in scoring at 18.6 ppg.
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Forward Greg Mangano ’12 also delivered, contributing a double–double (12 points, 11 rebounds), to the Bulldog effort. Since entering the starting lineup on Jan. 5 at Lehigh, Mangano has averaged nearly a double-double, with 8.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.
Friday’s game will be the Ivy League opener for the Quakers, whose 1–13 record reflects a grueling non-conference schedule that included dates with Villanova, Temple, St. Joseph’s, Duke, Davidson and Penn State. The Quakers are led by guard Zack Rosen, the Ivy League’s fifth-leading scorer at 16.2 points per game. Penn’s early-season struggles led to the firing of head coach Glen Miller on Dec. 15 after seven consecutive losses to begin the season. He was replaced by former Penn player and two-time Ivy League player of the year Jerome Allen, who has lost six of seven since taking the helm.
Princeton’s story is entirely different, as it comes into the weekend having won seven of its last eight games. The Tigers lead the nation in scoring defense, yielding a stingy 55.1 ppg, and are led in scoring by Douglas Davis (14 ppg).
Tigers coach Sydney Johnson was also an Ivy League Player of the Year at his alma mater, having won the award as a Tiger after the 1996-’97 season. Yale will look to make history this coming weekend and sweep the Penn-Princeton weekend for the third time in coach James Jones’ tenure. The Bulldogs have a three-game home winning streak against the Tigers, while the Quakers have returned home victorious after their last two trips to New Haven.
Also on the line for the Elis is individual history for Zampier. The guard needs just five steals to become Yale’s all-time leader and break Daniel Okonkwo’s record of 157. The captain is also just 44 points shy of 1,000 for his career.
If Zampier is to reach either milestone, this would be a special weekend to do it. At both Friday and Saturday’s games, Yale student-athletes will be collecting donations to assist the relief efforts in Haiti, and Saturday marks Alumni Day.
The weekend tips off tonight at 7 p.m.