GAME NOTES: Time and opportunity are running out for the Yale Bulldogs as they try to give themselves a shot at the postseason. The final two regular-season games for the Bulldogs take place over the next two days, beginning with a meeting against the Princeton Tigers tonight at Jadwin Gym.
With a league mark of 9-3, Yale trails first-place Harvard by one game and second-place Penn by a half game, so there is still hope for basketball beyond this weekend. The Bulldogs have won two straight games and four of the last five overall, thanks to a 71-40 thrashing of Cornell in the final home game of the season last Saturday.
As for the Tigers, at 7-4 they too have a very slim chance of getting to the postseason, but they'll need several different scenarios to work in their favor to make that happen. Last weekend, Princeton won for the fifth time in the last six outings by posting a commanding 85-61 victory over Dartmouth on the road, a significant change from the 59-47 win for the Tigers in the first meeting of the season.
With respect to the all-time series, Princeton hold a 143-82 edge over Yale, but it was the Bulldogs who posted a 58-54 win at home in the first meeting of the season.
Greg Mangano registered a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds last weekend, as he and the Bulldogs crushed the Big Red of Cornell by 31 points at home. Jesse Pritchard added 13 points and Austin Morgan 11 for the hosts, while Reggie Willhite contributed eight points, eight assists and four steals as the team held the visitors to a feeble 22.6 percent shooting from the field. As one of the top performers in the Ivy again this year, Mangano leads the Bulldogs in both scoring and rebounding in conference play with averages of 16.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per outing, adding 27 blocked shots over 12 games. However, Mangano also has his share of faults, from just 59.3 percent accuracy at the free-throw line to 25 turnovers and just nine assists in these contests. Willhite and Morgan chip in another 12.6 and 11.4 ppg, respectively, the former adding 6.6 rpg, almost 4.5 apg and a total of 26 steals.
The Tigers scored the first points of the game against Dartmouth in the last outing and never looked back, leading by as many as 29 points in the lopsided victory at Leede Arena. Patrick Saunders scored 14 points, hitting all four of his three-point tries for the Tigers as, after building a sizeable lead, they emptied the bench and had a total of 11 players score in the rout. Ian Hummer and Brendan Connolly both chipped in 11 points and combined for nine assists, followed by Denton Koon with 10 points off the bench. Hummer was the primary scorer for almost the entire first half of the season and is still leading the team with 16.2 ppg, but now he has plenty of teammates that he can lean on that will chip in. Douglas Davis is in for another 13.2 ppg and even though he is shooting only 40.8 percent from the floor, his 39.6 percent beyond the three-point line makes plenty of sense. T.J. Bray (7.2 ppg), a 43.8 percent shooter out on the perimeter, has handed out 102 assists and is clearing 4.4 rpg as one of the most well-rounded performers on the roster.
Yale has had marginal success on the road this season, but now is the time for the Bulldogs to let it all hang out if they hope to be playing beyond this weekend.