January 29, 2010

Fast Start, Strong Finish Lead Bulldogs To 61-48 Victory Over Penn

Porter Braswell Scores Team-High 14 Points To Lead Balanced Attack

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - On a night when Yale hoped to exploit its size advantage inside, it was a 6-1 guard that played a key role in an important Ivy League victory. Porter Braswell matched his career high with 14 points to lead a balanced attack as the Bulldogs rolled to a 61-48 victory over Penn before a crowd of 1,712 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

"It felt really good," said Braswell, who added four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 28 minutes. "I've put a lot of effort and energy into my shot in practice and to see positive results is a good feeling."

Braswell was 4-of-6 from the field, including 2-for-4 from three-point range. He scored eight of his points in the first half.

"Porter's really been shooting well in the last four or five ball games," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "It was nice to see him get off to a good start. This was probably his best game as a Bulldog."

Braswell made his presence felt right from the start. His steal and layup started an 11-0 run to open the game. The lead grew to 15, 24-9, midway through the first half before the Quakers started to chip away.

Yale, which has won four of its last five games, led 31-20 at halftime, but Penn pulled to within 40-34 with 10:44 left. The Bulldogs, though, answered with an 8-0 run, capped by a Braswell jumper. The Quakers never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

"Penn played a really physical game," Braswell said. "We knew we couldn't let up for a second or they'd make a run at us."

Greg Mangano was the only other Yale player to score in double figures. He finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Alex Zampier added nine points and three steals, leaving him one shy of Daniel Okonkwo's school record of 157 career steals. Michael Sands scored eight points and Reggie Willhite had six points in 11 minutes.

Zack Rosen paced the Quakers with 14 points, nearly three below his team-leading average. Rosen was 6-of-18 from the field but missed all seven of his three-point attempts.

"We wanted to make it hard for him [Rosen] to come off of ball screens," Jones said.

Jack Eggleston added 13 points and 13 rebounds for Penn.

Yale (8-12, 2-1 Ivy) shot 53.5 percent from the field in the game.

"We focused a lot in practice this week on our transition game and looking down low for our big guys," Braswell said.

The Bulldogs held Penn to 35.8 percent from the field. The Quakers made only 1-of-18 three-pointers.

Penn (1-14) was playing its Ivy League opener.

The Bulldogs will look for a weekend sweep when they host Princeton on Saturday night. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

Video by Alex Milvae '12, Yale Sports Publicity