Head coach James Jones said that Yale has to defend its home court. The Bulldogs did just that this Saturday against the University of Vermont.
Yale jumped ahead 4-2 two and a half minutes into the first half and led the rest of the way en route to a 68-52 victory over the Catamounts. Coach Jones stated that the Eli’s defense was key to securing the win.
“Today we didn’t win the game because of shooting the basketball,” Jones said. “We won this game because we defended.”
Jones added that at one point in the second half of the game the team turned over the ball a few times and failed to put any points on the board. However, because the Eli defense was up to full speed, Jones said the Bulldogs were able to stay ahead of their opponents.
The Bulldogs suffocated the Catamounts on defense, holding Vermont to just 35 percent shooting from the floor. Yale’s success was not limited to one side of the court, however, as the Elis also took it to Vermont offensively.
Center Greg Mangano ’12 scored a game-high 22 points and added 15 rebounds — four offensive — to record his third double-double of the season. The Bulldogs’ other post player, Jeremiah Kreisberg ’14 also dominated inside, contributing 14 points. Mangano and Jones said that Vermont’s decision to play one-on-one defense in the post allowed Yale’s post players to dominate the game.
“When we… have a defense that’s playing one-on-one in the post we are going to look to score because we are pretty talented there,” Mangano said.
In a moment of levity, Coach Jones added, “Greg [Mangano] looks to score in his sleep. He’ll snore and he’ll think about shooting the basketball.”
The Bulldog’s success in the paint helped to open up shots on the perimeter. They converted seven three-pointers. Guard Austin Morgan ’13 led the barrage as he continued to light it up from beyond the arc. He hit four of five from long-distance, and has connected on 21 of his 41 three-point attempts this season.
Vermont head coach John Becker acknowledged that the Elis simply outplayed his squad.
“[Yale] beat us for a full forty minutes,” Becker said. “[We] didn’t have it from the jump.”