Big Second Half Leads Yale Past Dartmouth 69-56

Rhett Anderson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Rhett Anderson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Michael Sands Scores Career-High 20 Points, Grabs Eight Rebounds

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - One of the best defensive stretches of the season couldn't have come at a better time for the Yale men's basketball team. Trailing Dartmouth by 10 with 14:18 left in the second half, the Bulldogs yielded only seven points over the next 13 minutes en route to a 69-56 victory over the Big Green before a Youth Day crowd of 1,478 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

"Our defense was the difference in the game," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "We did a great job getting stops and that led to scoring on the offensive end."

Michael Sands paced the Bulldogs with a career-high 20 points. Twelve of his points came over the final 14 minutes.

"I try to do whatever my team needs me to do," said Sands, who was 7-of-11 from the field and added eight rebounds. "We wanted to get the ball inside and my teammates did a good job of doing that."

Yale (10-15, 4-4 Ivy) got significant contributions from a number of players. Greg Mangano had 12 points and six rebounds off the bench. Alex Zampier scored 11 points, while Porter Braswell and Austin Morgan had six apiece. Paul Nelson added five points and a team-high nine rebounds. Raffi Mantilla also scored five points and Rhett Anderson chipped in four points and four rebounds.

"We have some good players who don't always see a lot of action," Jones said. "Tonight they got an opportunity and they played well."

Mantilla made one of the key plays in the game. In the middle of the Bulldogs big run, he missed a three-pointer, but raced to track down the offensive rebound and got the ball inside to Sands, who scored on a layup and was fouled. The three-point play cut Dartmouth's lead to 47-46 with 9:20 left.

"Effort cures a lot of evils," Jones said.

David Rufful and Ronnie Dixon each scored 15 points to pace Dartmouth (4-18, 0-8 Ivy). Robby Pride added 11 points and Clive Weeden had five points and 13 rebounds.

Early on, it looked like the Bulldogs might still be feeling the effects of last night's heartbreaking overtime loss to Harvard. The Big Green shot 48.5 percent from the field in the first half and had a 37-29 lead at the intermission.

"I think there definitely was some carry over," Sands said. "We were forcing things a little too much. We came out in the second half and really stepped it up."

Still, Dartmouth had a 46-36 lead with 14:18 left. Yale, though, responded with a 12-1 run, capped by a Mantilla layup. Dartmouth regained the lead on Dixon's layup, but Mantilla answered with a three-pointer that put the Bulldogs ahead for good, 51-49, with 5:03 remaining.

The Big Green shot just 18.8 percent (6-of-32) in the second half.

Yale committed just nine turnovers in the game and outrebounded Dartmouth 42-40.

NOTES: Josh Davis was limited to only four minutes after suffering an injury in the first half. Jordan Gibson missed the game due to injury. The Bulldogs wore pink shoelaces as part of the WBCA Pink Zone initiative. The Yale men's and women's basketball and gymnastics teams have joined forces in the Pink Zone effort to raise money for the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Many more festivities are planned for next Saturday at the gymnastics and women's basketball games. The Yale players signed autographs for the many youngsters in attendance following the game. The Bulldogs play their next four games on the road, starting next Friday at Princeton. The Yale-Princeton game will be televised on ESPNU beginning at 7 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity