Balanced Effort Leads Yale To 65-55 Win Over Colgate

Michael Sands. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Michael Sands. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Ten Different Players Score As Bulldogs Earn NIT Season Tip-Off Win

STORRS, Conn. - Yale got significant contributions from everybody that played in Tuesday's 65-55 victory over Colgate. It was certainly much needed. One night after getting outrebounded by nearly 20 in a loss to Hofstra, the Bulldogs were forced to play without 6-10 starting center Paul Nelson, who missed the game with an injured ankle. It didn't prove to be a problem. Yale dominated the boards against the Red Raiders en route to the win on the second day of the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off at Gampel Pavilion.

Michael Sands grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds, despite picking up two early fouls. Rhett Anderson and Jordan Gibson both contributed six rebounds.

"With Paul out, I really felt like I had to step up my rebounding," said Sands, who scored all seven of his points and had nine rebounds after the intermission. "In the second half, I just tried to not use my body as much."

Alex Zampier paced the Bulldogs (1-2) with 16 points. Gibson added 14, and Reggie Willhite, who made his first career start, chipped in with seven. All 10 players that saw time scored.

"Everybody really stepped up and made a contribution," said Gibson, who was 5-of-9 from the field and made all four of his free throws.

Gibson, who has reached double figures in all three games this season, scored 10 of his points in the first half.

"Jordan had a great game," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "He kept us in the game in the first half."

Yale trailed 30-28 at halftime but held the Raiders scoreless for nearly seven minutes and scored 12 straight points to start the second half.

Three consecutive three-pointers pulled Colgate back within one, 40-39, but the Bulldogs answered with an 11-2 run, capped by Willhite's layup, to regain control.

Colgate never got closer than six the rest of the way as Porter Braswell made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 1:01 to seal the victory.

"At halftime we talked about driving the basketball more," Jones said. "We relied too much on outside shots in the first half."

Kyle Roemer made five three-pointers and led Colgate (0-2) with 18 points. Yaw Gyawu had 12 points and Mike Venezia scored 11. Yale held the Raiders to 36.4 percent from the field in the second half.

"I was very happy with our entire effort," Jones said. "This was certainly our best defensive effort."

Yale trailed by as many as eight points in the first half, but outscored Colgate 6-3 over the final 3:16 to cut the deficit to 30-28 at the break.

The Bulldogs play their home opener on Saturday night against Quinnipiac at 7 p.m. Yale then will play two more games in the NIT next Monday and Tuesday. The site and opponents for those games will be determined on a conference call on Wednesday morning.

"The NIT is a great experience for a young team," Jones said. "We need games to try and figure things out."

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity