Tag Archive: Basketball

  1. W. BASKETBALL | Elis travel to Dartmouth, Harvard

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    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.

  2. M. BASKETBALL | Strong defense buoys Bulldogs

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    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.

    [ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”4808″ ]

    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.

  3. M. BASKETBALL | Losses sink Elis to fourth

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    The men’s basketball team had a tough weekend at home.

    The Bulldogs (12–12, 5–5 Ivy) could not dig themselves out of halftime deficits and fell 58–51 to Princeton and 60–58 to Penn. Yale center Greg Mangano ’12 set the school single-season blocks record, but turnovers were the issue against Princeton. Against Penn, a last second half-court shot caught the front rim, giving the Bulldogs their second loss in a row.

    The weekend began Friday night against the Tigers, and in many ways, the Bulldogs had a first half to forget. The Elis were outrebounded 26–18, shot just 29 percent, and turned the ball over 10 times. As a result, the Bulldogs put themselves in a deep first-half deficit.

    “We were turning the ball over, myself included,” Mangano said. “You can’t start a game like that against the number one team in the league and expect to come back and win even if you are in your own gym.”

    It took three minutes for Yale to tally its first points when forward Reggie Willhite ’12 came off of a screen, took the pass from guard Austin Morgan ’13 and hit the jumper. At this point, Princeton began to slowly pull away from the Bulldogs. Early, the Tigers effectively denied Mangano the ball. Later, the Tigers tenaciously defended Yale drivers and forced turnovers. As a result, they cruised to a 30–18 halftime lead.

    “For whatever reason, we looked unaware and out of sync to start the game — I have no idea why,” head coach James Jones said. “It took us until halftime to get refocused and to start playing the way that we’re capable of.”

    The Elis put the pressure on Princeton early in the second half. A backdoor cut by Morgan and a beautiful bounce pass from Braswell closed the gap to seven points, two minutes into the half and reinvigorated the crowd.

    “The crowd was on us the whole game, but that makes it a fun environment, and Yale has a good fan base,” Princeton guard Dan Mavraides said. “The place gets really loud even if we’re at shootaround there.”

    After Princeton extended its lead to nine, a double-teamed Mangano hit a fade-away three-pointer from the corner as the shot clock expired. But one minute later, Mangano blasted through a Mavraides screen and was called for the intentional foul. The two Mavraides free throws helped Princeton extend its lead to 12.

    But a three-point play from forward Jeremiah Kreisberg ’14 and a transition layup from guard Porter Braswell ’11 jumpstarted the Bulldogs. Over a minute later, two Mangano free throws closed the gap to five.

    After Princeton extended the lead to seven with 2:25 to play, Willhite intercepted an errant pass, cocked back, and threw down the fastbreak dunk. Then, with 1:45 to play, Willhite drove baseline and threw down another dunk that got the crowd on its feet and closed the gap to three. But Princeton’s Kareem Maddox retaliated with a three-point play, and the Bulldogs were unable to counter. Over the final minute, Princeton made enough of its free throws to secure the win.

    Mangano finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds and six turnovers. His five blocks gave him the school record for single-season blocked shots. With 71 blocks, Mangano moves ahead of the previous record holder, Chris Dudley ’87.

    “Some great guys have come through here and played here,” Mangano said. “It’s definitely an honor. [Dudley] went on to have a great career in the NBA. I’m honored to hold that with another year to play.”

    Kreisberg finished with 13 points and six rebounds. As a team, the Bulldogs shot 37.6 percent and held Princeton to 31.8 percent shooting, but Princeton forced 15 Eli turnovers. Maddox finished with 16 points and nine rebounds; Mavraides added 15 points and 10 rebounds.

    The Bulldogs were looking to bounce back against Penn but, for the second night in a row, a slow start hurt the Bulldogs.

    A Morgan-assisted Mangano dunk gave the Bulldogs a 4–3 lead, but that would be the last Yale lead for a 21-minute period. After a Mangano free throw closed the Penn lead to 10–7, the Quakers started on an 18–4 run that would give them a 28–11 lead with six minutes remaining in the half. At that point, seven points from Willhite invigorated the Bulldogs and they battled back to make it 32–24 at the half.

    “I think we have a problem with feeling out the game too much,” Braswell said. “I think people are tentative at first. We need to start being more aggressive and dictate the pace of the game.”

    The Quakers shot 56 percent in the first half and held the Bulldogs to 36 percent from the field. Guard Tyler Bernardini led the Quakers at the half with 12 points while Mangano paced the Bulldogs with 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Willhite had 7 points and four assists.

    A Kreisberg offensive rebound and put-back shrank the Penn lead to 36–31 two minutes into the second half. Then, Morgan hit a three-pointer from the top of the key and made two free throws to tie the game at 36. After Penn’s Miles Cartwright clanked his three-point attempt off the side of the backboard, Braswell sprinted down the court and sank a layup to give the Bulldogs the 38–36 lead with 16:18 remaining in the game. Penn’s Mike Howlett gave the Quakers the lead with a three-point play on the next possession. The two teams traded blows over the next nine minutes. Braswell sank two free throws to give the Bulldogs a 54–53 lead with 6:49 left.

    After Penn retook the lead, Mangano banked in a shot to put the Bulldogs up 56–55, but was forced to leave for one possession due to an injury. On that possession, Tyler Bernardini gave the Quakers a two-point lead, but Mangano re-entered and countered with two. Despite a Penn turnover with 1:25 left, the Bulldogs could not convert and Penn got the ball with 30 seconds remaining. Zack Rosen waited for the clock to run down, then drove into the lane and hit a pull-up shot with 2.3 seconds remaining to give the Quakers a 60–58 lead. On the final possession of the game, Kreisberg inbounded the ball to Morgan who hoisted up a half-court shot that clanged off the front of the rim.

    “It’s always tough to lose in the building,” Braswell said. “It’s just frustrating because we didn’t play to our potential. In both games, the first half killed us.”

    Mangano finished with 26 points on 11 of 17 shooting and 11 rebounds in the loss. Braswell added 13 points. After only going nine of 25 from the field in the first half, the Bulldogs shot 52.2 percent in the second half. Bernardini led the Quakers with 16 points; Eggleston contributed nine points and 10 rebounds.

    The loss pushes the Bulldogs to 5–5 in the conference and a tie for fourth in the Ivy League. The Bulldogs will be back in action next week as they host the Dartmouth Big Green Friday night at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the will battle the Harvard Crimson at 6 p.m. in the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

  4. M. BASKETBALL | Killer P’s coming to town

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    The men’s basketball team will get a chance to avenge a few losses this weekend at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

    The Bulldogs (12–10, 5–3 Ivy) will play host to the conference leading Princeton Tigers (19–4, 7–0) on Friday before hosting the Penn Quakers (9–12, 3–4) Saturday night. The Elis lost 67–63 at Princeton and 66–58 at Penn three weeks ago.

    After losing 78–75 at Harvard and beating Dartmouth 69–60, the Bulldogs sit in third place in the Ivy League. But this weekend presents a vital opportunity for Yale to get back into the Ivy League championship hunt. However, it will not be easy as the Bulldogs could not take down either Penn or Princeton on the road earlier in the season.

    On Jan. 28, the Bulldogs headed to the Palestra for a matchup with the Quakers. A two-of-16 start from the field doomed the Bulldogs. Even 50 percent field goal shooting the rest of the way could not push them to victory. One night later against Princeton, the Bulldogs’ top-ranked field goal shooting defense fell flat, and the Tigers shot 53.2 percent from the field to earn the victory.

    Princeton features a balanced offensive attack that is led by a solid inside pairing of forwards Ian Hummer and Kareem Maddox. The two are combining for 27.2 points, 14 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. The Bulldogs’ interior trio of Greg Mangano ’12, Jeremiah Kreisberg ’14 and Rhett Anderson ’12 will be tasked with controlling the Princeton front court. In the back court, double-digit scorers Dan Mavraides and Douglas Davis are 3-point shooting threats as each are shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs know that they cannot get off to another slow start against a team with so many weapons.

    “We just have to come out with a bunch of energy and really take it to them and dictate the flow of the game and get ahead and stay ahead,” guard Porter Braswell ’11 said. “They’re coming to our building so we have to control the tempo of the game.”

    Last weekend, Princeton swept its New York opponents, thrashing Columbia 76–46 behind 25 points and 12 rebounds from Hummer, and narrowly escaping Cornell with a 57–55 win. Trailing by 55–53 with just over two minutes to play, the Tigers turned to Maddox who converted a layup and hit a jumper to give Princeton the narrow win.

    Unlike the Tigers, Penn, the Bulldogs’ Saturday opponent, is trying to break out of a four-game losing streak after winning its first three Ivy League games. Three of those four games went into overtime, including a thrilling double overtime 83–82 loss at Harvard. Last weekend, Penn lost 82–71 in overtime at Cornell and 75–62 at Columbia.

    The Quakers also feature a strong, balanced cast with four double-digit scorers. Leading the pack is guard Zack Rosen who is averaging 14.5 points and 5.4 assists per game. In Ivy League play, Rosen has been an even more dangerous distributor, averaging 7.0 assists per game. Holding down the middle is forward Jack Eggleston. In conference play, Eggleston is averaging 17.9 points per game, only 1.5 less than the Ancient Eight’s leading scorer, Mangano.

    Princeton is looking for a chance to stretch its conference lead. With three losses, the Elis need to keep winning in order to put the pressure on the top squads in the conference.

    The matchup with Princeton is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start tonight. The game against Penn will tip off at 7 p.m. Saturday in the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

    Correction: February 28, 2011

    An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed Penn forward Jack Eggleston’s first name as Ian.

  5. W. BASKETBALL | Tigers, Bulldogs battle for the top

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    Last weekend, the women’s basketball team’s weekend sweep vaulted them from a third-place tie up to second place in the Ivy League standings. This weekend, the Bulldogs have a chance to complete their climb and take possession of first-place in the league.

    The Elis (10–12, 6–2 Ivy) will travel to south to take on the top of the league Princeton Tigers (17–4, 6–1) on Friday night and Penn (9–12, 3–4) on Saturday. Friday night’s game between the Bulldogs and Tigers will be a high stakes showdown, as the winner will take sole possession of first place in the Ancient Eight. The Bulldogs currently trail first-place Princeton by only half a game.

    The Bulldogs have momentum going into the two matchups after winning both of their games last week. The Elis defeated Harvard, 82–71, and Dartmouth, 66–53, over the weekend to earn the sweep.

    This week will be the first of two consecutive weeks that the Bulldogs will play on the road. It will be big test for the Elis, who are 3–6 when playing away from John J. Lee Amphitheater.

    “6–2 is nice; of course, I think we wish we could be better,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said last Saturday. “I think we have a very, very tough second half [of the season]. The next two weekends are where we’ll find out what we’re made of.”

    Princeton is also coming off a weekend sweep. The Tigers defeated Columbia, 57–35, on Friday, and Cornell, 65–43, the next day.

    The Bulldogs will look to avenge their Jan. 29 loss to the Tigers, 52–37. Though Yale held Princeton to only 20 points in the first half, they could not contain the Tiger’s offense for a full 40 minutes, and Princeton was able to emerge with the victory.

    The Tigers have the best scoring margin in the league at +15.6, and are led by senior guard Addie Micir and junior center Devona Allgood, who average 12.9 and 12.3 points per game, respectively.

    The Tigers lead the all-time series with Yale 44–30.

    Penn is also coming off a sweep of Cornell and Columbia last week. The first meeting of the season between Yale and Penn was a defensive battle, but the Bulldogs ultimately came out on top, 53–44, behind guard Megan Vasquez’s ’13 game-high 16 points.

    Penn is second in the league in scoring defense and is holding teams to just 53.6 points a night. The Quakers also boast the league’s top scorer, freshman guard Alyssa Baron, who is averaging 16.5 points per game. Penn is also strong on the glass, with guard Erin Power and forward Jess Knapp averaging 7.1 and 6.9 boards per game, respectively, good for second and third in the conference. Yale has a slim 34–33 margin over Penn in the all-time series.

    Tip-off against Princeton is scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. at Jadwin Gymnasium in Princeton, N.J. The Bulldogs will travel to Penn the following night for a 7 p.m. tip-off at the Palestra in Philadelphia, Penn.

  6. W. BASKETBALL | Sweep puts Bulldogs into second

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    Before the start of every game, the women’s basketball team huddles together and chants, “Defense, defense, rebound!” Those two factors proved to be key this weekend, as strong defensive performances and solid rebounding helped the Bulldogs earn two league wins.

    The Elis (10–12, 6–2 Ivy) knocked off Harvard (13–8, 5–2) and Dartmouth (5–16, 1–6) to earn the weekend sweep at home. The two wins vaulted the Bulldogs up from a third-place tie with Columbia to second place in the Ivy League standings, just a half-game behind Princeton.

    “It was really nice [to get the sweep] because we had two tough teams this weekend,” guard Megan Vasquez ’13 said. “Harvard was a really emotional game, and it meant a lot to us. But we had to beat Dartmouth to really make the Harvard win count.”

    The weekend began with a meeting against archrival Harvard. The Elis’ strong first-half defense held the Crimson to just 19 points in the first half and allowed the Bulldogs to build a 20-point lead at halftime. Though Harvard found its offensive groove in the second half, the deficit proved too great to overcome, as the Elis emerged with an 82–71 win. It was the Crimson’s first Ivy League loss of the season.

    “It’s a huge win,” forward Janna Graf ’14 said. “I’m just a freshman, so it’s my first time playing against Harvard, but it feels great. I think everyone is really happy to beat Harvard.”

    Graf scored a game-high 21 points in the contest and also tallied seven assists and six rebounds. Vasquez added 13 points and six boards, while forwards Mady Gobrecht ’11 and Michelle Cashen ’12 chipped in with 11 points apiece. Guard Aarica West ’13 totaled nine points, seven assists and three steals.

    Harvard forward Victoria Lippert paced the Crimson, scoring 18 points and grabbing eight boards. Guard Brogan Berry also added 16 points and seven assists.

    The Bulldogs opened the game by jumping out to a 9–2 lead behind five points from West and layups from Gobrecht and Cashen. The Crimson worked their way back into the game after Berry and Emma Markley cut Yale’s lead to 13–10 with 11:03 left, but after that it was all Yale for the remainder of the half.

    Over the next four minutes, the Elis outscored the Crimson 14–4 run to go up 27–14 at the 5:39 mark. Yale also locked down on defense, scoring 14 points off 10 Harvard turnovers in the first half. “I thought we had tremendous defensive energy in the first half,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said. “They’re an outstanding offensive team. I just thought we were so energized in the way we jumped on them that they were very off balanced offensively.”

    The Bulldogs closed out the half with an 11–2 run over the final 5:23 to go into the locker room with a commanding 39–19 edge.

    Harvard reduced the deficit to 45–31 following a layup from Lippert at the 15:23 mark, but the Bulldogs pushed their lead back up to 20 after Vasquez hit a shot from beyond the arc two minutes later.

    Still, Harvard used strong shooting to chip away at Yale’s lead. The Crimson shot 62.2 percent from the field in the second half. A layup from Markley and a three-pointer from Lippert brought the Crimson within 10 points with 2:48 left to play.

    “It was good that we had that 20-point lead heading into half,” Graf said. “We let up a little on defense, but they were also hitting some shots.”

    Harvard trimmed the deficit to eight points after Berry converted a three-point play with 1:06 left, but the Bulldogs were able to hit the free throws they needed down the stretch to secure the win.

    The Elis returned to action the following night to host a struggling Dartmouth team on Pink Zone day. The matchup proved to be a battle of sophomore guards, as Vasquez and Dartmouth’s Faziah Steen each scored 21 points for their team. In the end, however, it was the Bulldogs who came out on top with a 66–53 win behind another strong defensive effort.

    “I thought Dartmouth really came to play,” coach Gobrecht said. “When you play Dartmouth when they’re that determined, you’re going to have a battle, and that’s what we had.”

    In addition to Vasquez’s 21 points, Graf also netted 15 points and eight rebounds. Gobrecht added 11 boards and seven assists, while Cashen grabbed 12 rebounds and five steals.

    Steen also had three assists, four steals and three blocks for the Big Green, while forward Cassie Cooper tallied a double-double, with 10 points and 10 boards.

    After Dartmouth took an early 10–7 lead, the Bulldogs countered with a 12–2 run that gave them a 19–12 advantage.

    Still, the Big Green battled back, and a layup from Janelle Ross pulled Dartmouth within five points with 7:05 left in the half. But Yale outscored Dartmouth 12–6 to close out the half and build an 11-point lead at halftime.

    Yale’s defense held the Big Green to just 21.2 percent shooting in the first half.

    Dartmouth had a strong start to the second half and used a 6–2 run to cut the deficit to 35–28, but Yale pushed its lead back up to double digits after guard Allie Messimer ‘13 sank a three-point shot that gave the Bulldogs a 40–30 edge.

    After that, the Big Green never seriously threatened the Bulldogs’ lead. The two teams traded baskets for the remainder of the game, allowing the Elis to maintain their lead and come away with the weekend sweep.

    The Bulldogs are now halfway through league play and currently sit in second place in the conference standings. The Elis have a key road trip coming up this weekend, as they will travel to Princeton on Friday; the winner will take sole possession of first place in the Ivy League.

    “6–2 is nice; of course, I think we wish we could be better,” coach Gobrecht said. “I think we have a very, very tough second half [of the season coming up]. If we learned what we needed to learn from those two losses, then we have a shot of getting through this second half of playing four of our last six games on the road. The next two weekends are where we’ll find out what we’re made of.”

    Tip-off against Princeton is slated for Friday night at 6 p.m. in Princeton, N.J. The Bulldogs will travel to Penn the following night for a 7 p.m. matchup.

  7. M. BASKETBALL | Turnovers costly against Harvard

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    The men’s basketball team had its first weekend split of conference play, but maintained its third-place spot in the Ivy League.

    On Friday, the Bulldogs (12–10, 5–3 Ivy) committed 18 turnovers in a narrow 78–75 loss at Harvard (18–4, 7–1). But they rebounded a night later as center Greg Mangano ’12 scored 30 points to lead the Elis past Dartmouth (5–17, 1–7) 69–60 in Hanover, N.H.

    Saturday night’s matchup with Harvard was another thriller to add to the list of iconic Harvard-Yale athletic events. In a game that featured 11 ties and 13 lead changes, neither team led by more than six points. But Harvard ultimately came out on top, establishing a 78–72 lead with five seconds left in the game to quash the Bulldogs’ hopes for victory.

    “We played hard, but we turned the ball over too much which pretty much did us in,” point guard Porter Braswell ’11 said. “We played well, and we’re upset that we lost the game, but it wasn’t due to a lack of hustle or because we didn’t execute our plays the right way or anything like that.”

    The Bulldogs had the advantage early as a Jeremiah Kreisberg ’14 dunk gave Yale a 6–4 lead four minutes into the game. The Elis held onto the lead until a Keith Wright dunk tied the game at 18 with 10:17 to go in the first half. Austin Morgan ’13 and Mangano later hit consecutive three-pointers that pushed the Bulldogs to a 26–22 advantage, but three free throws from Crimson guard Christian Weber and a Kyle Casey jumper moved the Crimson ahead. Six lead changes and seven and a half minutes later, Porter Braswell ’11 hit two free throws to give the Bulldogs a 39–38 halftime lead.

    The Crimson got off to a fast start to begin the second half. An 8–1 Harvard run gave the Crimson a six-point lead just over two minutes into the half, but a three-pointer and layup from Mangano closed the gap to one. The two teams battled over the next eight minutes to ties at 53, 55, 57 and finally at 60 when Morgan sank a three-point shot to even things up with 8:17 left in the game.

    A Casey three-point play and a Laurent Rivard trey instigated an 8–2 Harvard run. But two Morgan free throws helped Yale counter with an 8–2 run of its own, leaving the score tied at 70 with 1:37 remaining.

    Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, that would be the last tie of the game. Harvard pushed ahead for good after a layup from Weber and two Brandyn Curry free throws. Although Morgan hit two free throws to bring Yale within two with 29 seconds left, a Wright dunk and a subsequent Mangano miss put the game out of reach. A Morgan three-pointer as time expired proved useless as Harvard came away with the win.

    Morgan led the Bulldogs with 22 points and four assists. Mangano finished with 19 points, four rebounds and three blocks. Kreisberg tallied the first double-double of his career with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

    “We felt that we had an advantage at the four spot,” Braswell said. “We looked to give Jeremiah the ball, and he did a great job. He played a great game for us and kept us in the game. It just comes down to matchups and creating opportunities to play well and he did.”

    Casey paced the Crimson with 18 points. Wright added 17 points and five rebounds. Yale won the rebound battle 30–24 and shot 52 percent, but it was not enough. As a team, Harvard shot 50.9 percent from the field and scored 22 points off of Yale turnovers.

    One day after the frustrating defeat in Cambridge, Mass., the Bulldogs headed north for a matchup with one of the Ivy League’s worst at Dartmouth. The Big Green have struggled as of late with only one win in their last 10 games, and things only got tougher against a Mangano-led Bulldog squad.

    “You’ve got to brush it off really quickly,” Braswell said about the game against Harvard. “You have to have a short memory. You talk about it in the locker room and that’s it. You move on.”

    Kreisberg started the game off with a jumper, and Mangano followed up with a field goal two minutes into the game to give the Bulldogs a quick 4–0 lead. Five straight points from forward Reggie Willhite ’12 extended the Eli advantage to 9–4. From that point onward, it was all Mangano. The junior big man scored 13 of the Bulldogs remaining 18 first-half points to give them a 27–24 lead at the break. A three-point play from Dartmouth’s Matt Labove tied things at 22 with 2:30 to go in the first half, but that would be the closest the Big Green would get as the Bulldogs would hold the lead for the remainder of the game.

    A 7–2 Eli run to start the second half put Yale in the driver’s seat. With 10:17 remaining, a three-pointer from Darmouth’s Gediminas Bertasius shrank the Yale lead to five, but two Willhite free throws and four points from Mangano helped the Bulldogs secure the lead. The two teams traded points from that point onward. With two minutes to go and a nine point lead, the Bulldogs turned to Braswell to close the game out. The senior point guard scored the Bulldogs final nine points to capture the victory.

    “This is a tough place to play,” head coach James Jones said in a press release. “I’m proud of our guys. They executed really well. We took too many jump shots in the first half, but in the second half we concentrated on getting the ball inside.”

    Willhite contributed 13 points, three steals and a block. Mangano finished with 30 points on 11 of 19 shooting, 11 rebounds and four blocks. The center’s points were even more important as the rest of the Elis shot only 28.9 percent from the field. After committing 18 turnovers against Harvard, the Bulldogs lowered that number to 10 against the Big Green.

    Tyler Melville and Labove led Dartmouth with nine points each. Labove also had eight rebounds. The Big Green relied on their reserves, as the bench accounted for 25 of Darmouth’s 60 points. As a team, the Big Green shot 39.3 percent.

    “We played good defense,” Braswell said. “We pretty much locked them down. They did a lot of one-on-one plays so when they did score, it was off of one-on-one stuff.”

    Mangano’s outburst against Dartmouth is another example of how valuable the big man has been to the Elis this year. In league play, Mangano leads the conference with 19.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game. The Elis will need similarly strong performances from Mangano if they want to keep winning. Mangano is averaging 18.2 points and 10.9 rebounds in Yale’s 12 wins this season, but only 13.2 points and 8.3 rebounds in the team’s losses.

    “He’s just really tough to defend because he can go inside and out,” Morgan said. “We’re all looking for Greg because we know he can deliver.”

    At 5–3 in conference play, the Bulldogs are in third place in the Ivy League behind 7–0 Princeton and 7–1 Harvard. With home games against each of the two leaders still remaining, the Bulldogs’ hopes of an Ivy League title are not completely out of reach. Cornell won the league title with three losses in the 2008-’09 season.

    The Bulldogs will be back in action on Friday night, as they host the Princeton Tigers (19–4, 7–0) at 7 p.m. in the John J. Lee Amphitheater. On Saturday, they will match up with the visiting Penn Quakers (9–12, 3–4) at 7 p.m.

  8. M. BASKETBALL | Showdowns with Harvard, Dartmouth loom

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    A Harvard-Yale sporting event always features a lot of anticipation and excitement, but in a matchup of two of the Ivy League’s best men’s basketball teams, there are more than just bragging rights on the line.

    The Bulldogs (11–9, 4–2 Ivy) will head to Cambridge for a Friday night matchup with the Harvard Crimson (16–4, 5–1) before meeting the Dartmouth Big Green (5–15, 1–5) on Saturday in Hanover, NH. The Bulldogs are in third place in the Ivy League standings, one position behind Harvard, and are 4–6 on the road this season.

    “We need to be able to play for forty minutes against the best teams in the league, head coach James Jones said. “We need to make sure that we can take care of the ball and not have lulls and not have sequences where four or five possessions in a row, we don’t get a good shot.”

    The Crimson are coming off an intense road trip against “the Killer P’s.” In Friday’s matchup at Princeton, the game came down to the final seconds, as Princeton’s Ian Eggleston hit two free throws with four seconds remaining to preserve the Tiger victory. If that wasn’t exciting enough, one night later, Harvard and Penn battled ferociously, forcing the game into double overtime. Trailing by one with 11 seconds remaining in the second overtime, Harvard turned to McNally, who sank a jump shot to pull out an 83–82 Harvard win. The matchup with Yale will be the Crimson’s third game in a row against an Ivy League team that is in the top half of the conference.

    Despite losing guard Golden State Warrior Jeremy Lin to graduation, the Crimson return a deep and talented team. Forward Keith Wright leads the Crimson with 15.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game and will present a tough matchup for Eli center Greg Mangano ’12. Crimson guards Christian Weber, Laurent Rivard and Oliver McNally are also in double figures in scoring.

    In addition to Harvard’s solid scoring options, the meeting will showcase two of the best defenses in the Ivy League. Harvard leads the Ancient Eight in opponent’s points per game, while the Bulldogs lead the League in opponent field goal percentage. And in a game of two solid offenses and good defenses, mistakes could prove the difference. Harvard and Yale are first and second in the Ivy League, respectively, in turnovers per game.

    For the Elis, a Saturday trip to Dartmouth will follow the Harvard game, and it may end up being what the Bulldogs need. One night after what is sure to be an intense and emotional game in Cambridge, the Elis will take on one of the Ivy League’s cellar dwellers. The Big Green have the Ivy League’s worst scoring margin at -10.7. In comparison, the Bulldogs enter the weekend with a +1.4 scoring margin. Dartmouth’s lone Ivy win came at home against Cornell two weeks ago. As Harvard’s travel partner, they made the same trip to Penn and Princeton but could not find similar success as they lost both games by 31 and 15 to Penn and Princeton, respectively. The Big Green are led by Jabari Trotter, R.J. Griffin and David Rufful who are all averaging just over eight points per game.

    Two wins would guarantee that the Bulldogs move up into at least a tie for second place in the Ivy League. Princeton leads the conference at 5–0.

    The Bulldogs will meet Harvard at 7 p.m. Friday night in Lavietes Pavillion in Cambridge, Mass. The game at Dartmouth is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. Saturday night.

  9. W. BASKETBALL | Women host Crimson, Big Green

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    After a weekend split on the road, the women’s basketball team returns home to host Harvard and Dartmouth in another pair of key conference matchups.

    The Bulldogs (8–12, 4–2 Ivy) will host the Crimson (13–6, 5–0) tonight and the Big Green (5–14, 1–4) tomorrow night. The Elis enter the two matchups looking to rebound from a 67–57 loss at Columbia last Saturday. Yale is currently tied with Columbia for third place in the Ivy League.

    The weekend begins with a meeting against archrival Harvard. The Crimson is the only remaining team in the Ancient Eight with an undefeated league record and currently sits atop the Ivy League standings. Harvard is coming off a sweep of Princeton and Penn over the weekend and is currently riding a seven-game winning streak.

    Harvard boasts the highest-scoring offense in the Ancient Eight, averaging 74.2 points per game. Guards Brogan Berry and Victoria Lippert are the Crimson’s top scorers, averaging 14.1 and 13.6 points per game, respectively, and are ranked as the second- and third-leading scorers in the Ivy League. Berry also leads the league in assists per game, dishing out 4.58 assists a night.

    “Harvard has a great transition game, probably the best in the league at that, so you definitely have to stop that,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said. “I think they have a lot of weapons, they’re deep [and] they play a lot of people, so they just keep coming at you. But I think if we play our game and do the things that we’re capable of doing, it’s going to be an excellent game.”

    The Crimson swept the season series against the Bulldogs last season and has won the last four meetings between the two teams. Harvard leads the all-time series against Yale 41–27.

    The Elis will end the weekend with a game against Dartmouth on Saturday night. The Big Green is coming off a weekend split, earning its first league win against Penn, 68–65, last Friday, but suffering a defeat to Princeton, 75–50, the following day.

    Sophomore guard Faziah Steen leads the Big Green with 12.6 points per game, while freshman forward Janelle Ross averages a team-best 6.5 rebounds per game.

    “They’re just a solid team that’s not going to beat themselves,” Gobrecht said. “You’ve got to beat Dartmouth. They take care of the important things, they rebound great and they work really hard on not turning the ball over. I think it’ll be important that we pressure them and try to keep the game fast-paced, and that’s a little harder usually on a Saturday night than it is on a Friday night.”

    Though the Bulldogs swept the season series against Dartmouth last season, the Big Green still holds a significant edge in the all-time series, leading 50–16.

    This Saturday the Bulldogs will also participate in the Women’s College Basketball Association’s Pink Zone Day, an annual event to raise breast cancer awareness. The fundraiser will feature a silent auction. Raffle tickets and T-shirts will also be sold to raise money for the Smilow Cancer Center. All the funds collected from ticket sales will also be donated to the cause.

    Tip-off for both games is slated for 7 p.m. at John J. Lee Amphitheater.

  10. W. BASKETBALL | Another weekend, another split

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    The women’s basketball team’s New York road trip ended with another weekend split for the Elis.

    The Bulldogs (8–12, 4–2 Ivy) defeated Cornell (5–15, 2–4) 57–49 in Ithaca on Friday night before falling at Columbia (5–15, 4–2) 67–57 the next day.

    “This is probably the toughest road trip because Cornell is so far away, and Columbia had a bunch of fans, so it was a really tough environment,” captain Yoyo Greenfield ’11 said. “I feel like we didn’t really step up to play the second night out.”

    After splitting the weekend games, the Bulldogs are now tied with Columbia for third place in the Ancient Eight standings, behind Harvard and Princeton.

    The road trip began when the Elis traveled to upstate New York face the Big Red. Despite a slow offensive start to the game, the Bulldogs rallied in the second half to power past Cornell.

    “I think it’s a good sign when you can not play your best and get it done on the road,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said. “I thought we really struggled, and it had all the signs of one of those nightmarish games on the road. We had people in foul trouble, and we couldn’t get anything, and we had a really hard time getting on track offensively.”

    Three Elis ended the night with double-digit point totals. Forward Mady Gobrecht ’11 scored a game-high 18 points and pulled down six rebounds, while guard Megan Vasquez ’13 and forward Janna Graf ’14 totaled 14 points each.

    The Bulldogs also saw the return of Greenfield, who had missed the last 13 games with lingering concussion symptoms from a collision she suffered in November. Greenfield was limited to five minutes off the bench and had one rebound and one steal.

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    “It was great to have her out there,” coach Gobrecht said. “She’s got to get some rust out and whatnot, but she’s going to be important to us. I think that every game she’s going to keep getting better and better.”

    Guards Allyson DiMagno and Taylor Flynn led Cornell with 10 points each in the effort. DiMagno also grabbed nine boards, while guard Stephanie Long tallied a game-high five assists.

    The Big Red opened the game by outscoring the Bulldogs 12–3 over the first eight minutes to take an early lead. But the Elis responded with 12 unanswered points, seven of which were from Gobrecht, to go up 15–12 at the 9:47 mark.

    Still, the Bulldogs’ edge did not last long, as Cornell used two consecutive layups to take a slim 16–15 lead.

    The two teams traded buckets for the remainder of the half, but Flynn knocked down two free throws with 48 seconds left to give the Big Red a 24–21 advantage at halftime.

    Cornell started the second half by expanding its lead to eight after Kristina Danielak hit a pair of jumpers and Clare Fitzpatrick added a free throw. But the Bulldogs used three shots from beyond the arc from Vasquez, forward Ericka von Kaeppler ’13 and Gobrecht to get back in the game and trim Cornell’s lead to 31–30 at the 12:28 mark.

    One minute later, a pair of shots from the charity stripe from forward Michelle Cashen ’12 gave the Bulldogs a one-point lead. Cornell’s Maka Anyanwu countered with a layup that gave the Big Red a 33–32 lead with 11:16 to play, but that would be the last time Cornell would lead. The Bulldogs shutdown Cornell’s offense over the next 4:32 while scoring 10 consecutive points to go up 42–33 with 7:14 left on the clock.

    “We had trouble scoring in the first half, so in the second half we really worked on executing our offense,” Vasquez said. “Also, we switched up our defenses during the second half and Cornell had a hard time scoring on us.”

    Still, the Big Red battled back to cut the deficit. A layup from Spencer Lane brought Cornell within four points with 3:15 to play, but that would be as close as Cornell would get. The Elis hit key free throws down the stretch to secure their fourth league win.

    “They were very physical and played hard,” coach Gobrecht said. “It wasn’t that pretty, but we got it done. But I do think we need to play better tomorrow night.”

    The Elis continued their New York swing the next day when they visited the Big Apple to take on Columbia at Levien Gymnasium. Though the two teams battled back and forth for most of the first half, the Lions used a second-half offensive surge to outpace the Bulldogs.

    “I feel like we did not play as smart as we could have played, and we did not play up to our potential,” Greenfield said.

    Vasquez scored a game-high 17 points and added four steals in the effort. Guard Allie Messimer ’13 also chipped in with 12 points off the bench, while Cashen totaled 10 points and five boards.

    Columbia guard Melissa Shafter came in off the bench to lead the Lions with 14 points and six assists. Kathleen Barry and Brianna Olrich also contributed with 12 and 13 points, respectively. Barry also added eight boards for Columbia.

    The game began with both teams trading baskets over the first five minutes of play. The Bulldogs briefly took the lead after a layup from Gobrecht put them up 8–7 at the 16:42 mark, but the Lions responded with a 10–2 run that gave them a 17–10 advantage with 12:38 left in the half.

    Still, Yale’s defense got the Bulldogs back in the game, holding Columbia scoreless over six minutes while scoring 12 unanswered points to take a 29–22 edge with 4:28 left in the half.

    But the Lions erased the deficit by outscoring the Elis 13–3 over the final minutes of the half to take a 35–32 lead into the locker room.

    Columbia stayed in control of the game in the second half, using an 11–3 run to take a 46–35 lead with 13:56 left on the clock.

    “We just didn’t get it done on the defensive end like we usually do,” Greenfield said. “They just got a lot of open shots, and they were hitting them, and we weren’t hitting our shots in the paint.”

    The Bulldogs pulled within four points six minutes later after scoring six consecutive points, capped by a three-pointer from Messimer, but the Lions crushed the Elis’ hopes of a comeback with an 11–2 run to go up 63–50 with 1:46 remaining. After that, Yale could not overcome the deficit, and Columbia was able to pull away with its third straight victory.

    The Bulldogs return home this weekend to host first-place Harvard on Friday and Dartmouth on Saturday. Tip-off for both games is slated for 7 p.m. at John J. Lee Amphitheater.

  11. LIVE BLOG | M. BASKETBALL | Yale vs. Columbia

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    The News live blogs men’s basketball versus Columbia.