Bulldogs Roll To 65-48 Victory Over Columbia

Paul Nelson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Paul Nelson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Holds Lions To 22 Second-Half Points

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Senior Weekend got off to a strong start for the Yale men's basketball team. Four of Yale's five starters scored in double figures as the Bulldogs cruised to a 65-48 Ivy League victory over Columbia before a crowd of 1,547 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Alex Zampier and Paul Nelson, the two healthy seniors, each played a big role. Zampier scored a team-high 15 points, while Nelson added 10 points, five rebounds and two blocks despite being limited to 19 minutes because of early foul trouble.

Yale (12-18, 6-7 Ivy) held the Lions to 31.1 percent shooting from the field. Noruwa Agho, Columbia's leading scorer who had 30 points in the first meeting with the Bulldogs, was limited to 14 points and made only 5-of-17 shots.

"I thought our defense was stellar," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "We really stifled them."

The Bulldogs trailed 36-33 with 14:55 remaining in the second half but scored 14 straight points to seize control. Michael Sands had eight points during the run. He started it with a layup and then capped the spurt with a pair of conventional three-point plays that made it 47-36 with 9:34 left. Columbia never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

"We ran some isolations for Mike, and he finished strong," Jones said.

Sands scored 14 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Porter Braswell added 10 points and Greg Mangano contributed six points, seven rebounds and six blocked shots. Austin Morgan had a strong game as well. He scored five of his six points in the second half, including a three-pointer during the 14-0 run.

"I thought Austin really changed the flow of the game," Jones said. "He made a big shot and picked up a couple of charges."

Mark Cisco was the only other Columbia player to reach double figures. He scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Columbia (10-17, 4-9 Ivy) had its biggest lead of the game, 15-10, midway through the first half, but the Bulldogs scored the next 12 points. The Lions, though, closed the half with an 11-7 run to pull within 29-26 at the intermission.

Columbia shot only 29 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes but stayed in the game by outrebounding Yale 25-16.

NOTES: Yale seniors Josh Davis and Jordan Gibson both missed the game with injuries... Columbia finished with a 42-34 edge in rebounding. It was the first time this season Yale won a game when it was outrebounded... Yale outscored the Lions 26-7 at the foul line...Columbia scored only 22 points in the second half... The Bulldogs swept the season series from Columbia for the first time since 2006. Yale won the first meeting 79-64 on Feb. 6... This was the 14th meeting between Jones and his younger brother Joe, who is in his seventh year as the head coach at Columbia. Yale has won nine of the games... The Bulldogs conclude the season on Saturday, hosting Cornell at 7 p.m. The Big Red clinched the outright Ivy League title with a 95-76 win over Brown on Friday. Yale's four seniors, Davis, Gibson, Nelson and Zampier will be honored in a ceremony prior to tip-off.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity