Final Road Trip Takes Yale To Dartmouth, Harvard

Raffi  Mantilla(photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)
Raffi Mantilla(photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Looking To Sweep Dartmouth, Earn Split With Harvard

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The final road trip of the season takes the Bulldogs to Dartmouth on Friday and Harvard on Saturday. Tipoff on both nights is slated for 7 p.m. Yale split with the two teams at home just two weeks ago, knocking off Dartmouth 69-56 but dropping a heartbreaking 82-79 overtime decision to Harvard. The first Yale-Harvard matchup featured 13 ties and 12 lead changes and wasn't decided until Alex Zampier missed a long three-pointer as time expired. The Bulldogs used an impressive defensive stretch to dispose of the pesky Big Green. Trailing by 10 with 14:18 left in the second half, Yale yielded only seven points over the next 13 minutes en route to the victory. The Bulldogs will hope for a similar defensive effort this weekend after allowing 82 points to Princeton and 81 points to Penn last weekend. Yale (10-17, 4-6 Ivy) currently sits in fifth place in the Ivy League, a half-game behind Penn. The Bulldogs have finished fourth or better in each of the last nine years. Alex Zampier is approaching another milestone. He has 54 steals this season, which ties him with Daniel Okonkwo for the most in a season in school history. Zampier is already Yale's leader in career steals with 162. In Ivy games, Zampier is second in the league in scoring at 16.0 ppg., nearly 3.0 ppg. behind Penn's Zack Rosen. The last Yale player to lead the league in scoring in Ivy games was Butch Graves in 1984.


Yale is looking to sweep the season series from Dartmouth for the third time in the last four years. The last five meetings in Hanover have been decided by 10 points or less. Yale head coach James Jones is 17-4 against the Big Green during his tenure. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series with Dartmouth 101-94.

The Bulldogs have won four straight games at Lavities Pavilion. Yale has 113 victories all-time against the Crimson, the most against any opponent. Jones is 16-5 against Harvard, which will be trying to win the season series from Yale for the first time since 1999.

The Bulldogs have swept the Dartmouth-Harvard road trip four times under Jones.


The Big Green (5-19, 1-9 Ivy) picked up its first league win last weekend, knocking off Columbia 48-44 at Leede Arena. Dartmouth has been respectable on defense, allowing just 64.8 points per game, but is last in the league in scoring offense (54.2 ppg.) and field goal percentage (.388). The Big Green is 5-0 when it shoots 41 percent or better from the field. Ronnie Dixon leads the team in scoring (9.0 ppg.), while Clive Weeden averages a team-best 4.8 rebounds.


The Crimson (18-6, 7-3 Ivy) host Brown on Friday and need one more victory to match the school record for overall wins in a season. Harvard leads the Ivy League in field goal percentage (.481), free throw percentage (.771) and blocked shots (5.0 per game). Jeremy Lin, the Crimson's top scorer (16.8 ppg.) is a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, presented to the nation's top point guard. Harvard also features a talented freshman class, which combined for 53 points in the first meeting with Yale.


  • Paul Nelson shot 77.8 percent (7-of-9) from the field in the two games. He had 11 points and 10 rebounds against Penn to post his third double-double of the season.
  • Porter Braswell, who played his high school basketball at the nearby Lawrenceville School, had several family and friends in attendance for the game with Princeton. Braswell made 3-of-4 shots from the field and scored seven points against the Tigers.
  • Seniors Jordan Gibson and Josh Davis missed both games with injuries.
  • Greg Mangano paced the Bulldogs with 11 points against Princeton. It was the second time this season he led the team in scoring.
  • Alex Zampier had 21 points against the Quakers, the sixth time he scored at least 20 points in a game.
  • The Bulldogs were outrebounded in both games. Yale is 0-10 this season when it is outrebounded.
  • Princeton swept the season series from Yale for the first time since 2005-06.
  • Yale missed an opportunity to sweep the season series from Penn for the first time since 1966-67.
  • The Yale-Princeton game was televised by ESPNU. It was the Bulldogs third appearance on the ESPN family of networks.


The Bulldogs were picked to finish fifth in the Ivy League preseason media poll, released on Oct. 28 during a media teleconference. Yale has finished higher than projected in three of the last four years. Two-time defending champion Cornell is the overwhelming favorite. The Big Red received all 16 first-place votes. Princeton is second followed by Penn and Harvard. Columbia (sixth), Brown and Dartmouth round out the poll. The Bulldogs, who finished in a tie for second place with Princeton last year, lost four starters from that team.


The state of Connecticut has a rich basketball tradition. A new chapter in that history starts this season with the formation of the Connecticut 6, a partnership between six of Connecticut's Division I schools - Yale, Central Connecticut, Fairfield, Hartford, Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart. The inaugural Connecticut 6 Classic tripleheader was Nov. 13 at the Arena at Harbor Yard. The Classic moves to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville in 2010. In addition to the tripleheader, a preseason All-Connecticut 6 team was selected and there will be a Connecticut 6 Player of the Week chosen each week during the season.


James Jones has made quite an impact on the Yale basketball program. In 10 seasons, Jones has guided Yale to success not seen in New Haven in 40 years. In 2001-02, Jones led the Bulldogs to their first Ivy League title since 1962-63 and the first postseason tournament victory in the 107-year history of Yale basketball. The team won 21 games, the second most in the modern era of Yale basketball, and reached the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. Jones, the longest tenured coach in the Ivy League, earned his 100th victory at Yale when the Bulldogs beat Columbia on Feb. 9, 2007. He is only the fourth coach in school history with at least 100 wins. The Bulldogs have won at least 10 Ivy games twice during his tenure and have had a .500 or better record in league play in each of the last nine years. Three assistant coaches who worked under Jones have gone on to become head coaches - Isaiah Cavaco (Oberlin), Mark Sembrowich (Academy of Arts University) and Mark Gilbride (Clarkson).Jones served as an assistant coach to Villanova's Jay Wright for the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team.


Six Yale graduates, all coached by James Jones, are currently playing professional basketball. Edwin Draughan '05 (FOS Ouest, France), Dominick Martin '06 (Illescas CLM, Spain), Matt Kyle '08 (Tunisia), Eric Flato '08 (Plymouth Raiders, England) and Ross Morin '09 (SAM Massagno, Switzerland) are playing overseas, while Travis Pinick '09 was was selected in the eighth round of the 2009 NBA D-League Draft by the Los Angeles D-Fenders.


• The 2009-10 schedule features 31 regular season games, including 12 in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater. It will mark the most games Yale has played in a season since 2001-02 when the Bulldogs finished 21-11.

• The Bulldogs made their second appearance in the Preseason NIT. Yale fell to No. 1 ranked UConn in the tournament to open the 2003-04 season. The Bulldogs played four games in this year's tournament.

• The game with Quinnipiac on Nov. 21 capped a busy day on the Yale campus. The 126th edition of the Yale-Harvard football game was played at noon at Yale Bowl. Yale and Quinnipiac had met only once before, an 87-69 Bobcat win in 1999 in the Phoenix Classic at the Hartford Civic Center.

• Senior Alex Zampier had a homecoming when the Bulldogs visited Albany on Jan. 3. Zampier, an East Greenbush, N.Y., native, graduated as the second all-time leading scorer at Columbia High School with 1,381 points. Yale head coach James Jones is a 1996 Albany graduate. He played for and coached with the legendary Dr. Richard Sauers, one of only seven coaches to win more than 700 games.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity