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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 12, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hagan Arena (4,200) -- Philadelphia, Philadelphia. Television: None. Home Record: Yale 0-0, SJU 0-0. Away Record: Yale 0-1, SJU 0-0. Neutral Record: Yale 0-0, SJU 0-0. Conference Record: Yale 0-0, SJU 0-0. Series Record: First meeting.
GAMES NOTES: As part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, the Yale Bulldogs will travel to Hagan Arena where the Saint Joseph's Hawks await to open their season.
The Bulldogs already got their season underway but not in the manner in which they would have hoped. In a game held in Chase Arena in West Hartford, Connecticut, Yale fell in overtime 85-82 to Sacred Heart. Yale let a 24-point lead slip away in the second half and then failed to put together a strong effort in overtime to drop its season opener. Yale had come into this season after posting its best record since 2002 (19-10). Including this game, Yale is on the road in its next five games.
Phil Martelli's group will be hitting the hardwood in the regular season for the first time on Monday. The Hawks are coming off their first 20-win season since 2008 and the hope is that this year will be the second. Saint Joseph's would also like to end a four-year drought from the NCAA Tournament this year which is the longest such streak by the Hawks since missing out for 10 straight seasons from 1987 to 1996. In the second leg of the Coaches vs. Cancer slate, Saint Joseph's will play Notre Dame this Friday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
It was really a tale of two halves for Yale in its loss to Sacred Heart. The Bulldogs shot at a 51.9 percent clip and outscored Sacred Heart 11-3 in the first half. After halftime Yale cooled to 47.8 percent, while allowing Sacred Heart to shoot 54.8 percent from the floor.
Yale wasted a strong showing from Austin Morgan who scored 28 points. Morgan really lit it up from beyond the arc, connecting on 6-of-11 shots from three- point range. Morgan (11.8 ppg) will be expected to carry the offensive load this season as he is the top returning scorer from a team that had three double-digit scorers a season ago. Jeremiah Kreisberg (7.7 ppg) and Michael Grace (5.4 ppg) are other holdovers, along with Morgan, in the backcourt and were expected to take on more scoring responsibilities. Neither was particularly impressive in the first game, combining for 11 points on 4-for-10 shooting. Freshman Justin Sears and sophomore Brandon Sherrod (4.0 ppg) have the tough task of replacing Greg Mangano (18.2 ppg, 9.7 rpg) this season. Based on the evidence of just a single game, Sears looks like the better fit as he finished with 19 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Someone other than Morgan will need to be a consistent threat scoring if the Bulldogs want to replicate their Ivy League-leading offensive output (68.7 ppg) of last season.
Having players like Langston Galloway (15.5 ppg, 4.5 apg) and Carl Jones (17.0 ppg) back on the roster give Martelli a very solid building point coming into this season. Galloway runs the point and can distribute and shoot the ball at a high level (.488 FG percentage). Jones was suspended for three games for an undisclosed violation earlier this week but when he does play he is a prolific scorer that is a threat to put up 20 points just about every night. With Jones out the scoring shouldn't drop off too much especially in the frontcourt with C.J. Aiken (10.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.5 bpg) and Ronald Roberts (10.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg) also capable of filling it up effectively. Aiken is the player to watch on the squad as he will contribute effectively on offense but make his presence most felt on defense with his ability to protect the rim. Regardless of who is scoring, if the Hawks continue to shoot the ball at the Atlantic 10-leading pace (.470 FG percentage) they did last season, things should be fine offensively.
Even without Jones, Saint Joseph's has a number of offensive weapons that Yale will struggle to slow down. The Bulldogs don't have enough offense to counter and making matters worse the Hawks will be fueled by playing at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saint Joseph's 72, Yale 60
11/12 10:44:19 ET
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