Defense, Inside Game Lead Yale Past First-Place Princeton

Defense, Inside Game Lead Yale Past First-Place Princeton

Feb. 13, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - If ever the tone of a college basketball game was set on the first possession, it was Friday night at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Yale won the opening tap and proceeded to miss its first four shots. The Bulldogs, though, got the offensive rebound each time and finally took a 2-0 lead on Chris Andrews's jumper. That was the start of a dominating performance on the glass for Yale, which outrebounded Princeton 43-23 en route to a 60-48 victory over the first-place Tigers before an enthusiastic crowd of 1,874.

"We came out with great energy and really swarmed the boards," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball.

The Bulldogs (9-12, 4-3 Ivy) had 16 offensive rebounds in the game and outscored Princeton 21-5 on second-chance points.

Alex Zampier scored 13 points to lead Yale. Ross Morin added 10 points and 10 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season. Travis Pinick scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Garrett Fiddler had eight points and five rebounds.

"There aren't too many teams in the Ivy League with post players like Ross and Garrett," Pinick said. "Then, we have some bench guys that really attack the glass and that opens it up for our guards. When our inside-out game is working, we are tough to beat."

Michael Sands contributed six points and five rebounds off the bench. Porter Braswell had five points and Greg Mangano added four. Jordan Gibson had three blocks and a steal in 16 minutes and Paul Nelson had two blocks.

Douglas Davis paced Princeton (9-9, 4-1 Ivy) with 11 points, while Kareem Maddox added seven.

The loss snapped the Tigers' seven-game winning streak.

Yale was coming off a disappointing 57-54 loss at Dartmouth last Saturday.

"We went through practice this week with a chip on our shoulder," said Morin, who had six of his 10 rebounds come on the offensive end.

The Bulldogs held Princeton to 35.6 percent from the field in the game.

Princeton took its only lead of the night, 13-10, on Dan Mavraides' three-pointer with 13:35 left in the first half. The Bulldogs, though, scored the next eight points, six of which came from Sands.

The Tigers pulled to within 18-16, but Yale closed the half with a 13-2 run and led 31-20 at the intermission.

The Bulldogs, who improved to 5-1 at home this season, took their biggest lead, 57-33, on Mangano's jump shot midway through the second half.

Yale outscored Princeton 32-16 in the paint in the game.

"Our guys did a really good job of navigating seams and getting easy baskets," Jones said.

The Bulldogs will try to complete a weekend sweep when Penn visits on Saturday for a 7 p.m. tip. The Quakers defeated Brown 73-52 on Friday.

"Our backs are against the wall," Pinick said. "This weekend is an opportunity to jump start us."

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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Video by Neil Horowitz '09, Yale Sports Publicity