Morgan Paces Bulldogs With 16 Points
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – There haven't been too many upsets early in the college basketball season. Yale nearly pulled off a big one Monday night. Providence needed a short jumper in the lane from Duke Mondy with 1:07 left in the second half and two free throws from Marshon Brooks with 19 seconds remaining to knock off the Bulldogs 58-55 before a nervous crowd of 3,521 at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
Yale erased an eight-point halftime deficit and took a 49-43 lead on two Porter Braswell free throws with 7:41 left. The Friars, though, scored the next eight points. Reggie Willhite's steal and dunk tied the score, and Jesse Pritchard's first career three-pointer gave the Bulldogs a 54-53 lead with 2:47 remaining. After Brooks made a free throw to tie it at 54, Austin Morgan hit one of two free throws. Mondy's jumper, though, put PC ahead for good.
Braswell missed a three-pointer on Yale's next possession and Brooks grabbed the rebound, although the Yale bench, which had a good look at it, thought his foot was on the end line. Brooks was then fouled and made both free throws.
Greg Mangano had a chance to tie it as time expired but his contested three-pointer missed.
"We're a young team and we're not ready to win a game like this," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach, dismissing any talk of a moral victory. "We had our chances and didn't convert."
Morgan finished with 16 points, one shy of his career high, to pace the Bulldogs. Braswell added 13 and Mangano contributed 11 points and nine rebounds, despite picking up three first-half fouls.
Vincent Council led Providence with 18 points. He was only 3-of-12 from the field but made 11-of-13 free throws.
It looked like Yale might be in trouble when Mangano picked up his third foul with 8:52 left in the first half and the team trailing 19-11. Morgan, though, immediately hit a three-pointer, and the Bulldogs managed to stay within striking distance, trailing 29-21 at halftime.
Yale (0-2) then came out hot from three-point range at the start of the second half. Morgan and Braswell both made two treys and Mangano added one in the first six minutes to get the Bulldogs back within one.
"Against Quinnipiac [in Saturday's season opener] our starts to both halves weren't very good," Morgan said. "Coach [Jones] really emphasized that in practice and we did a better job."
There were nine ties and seven lead changes in the game.
Providence, which cruised to an 87-52 win over Dartmouth in its season opener, outrebounded Yale 39-36.
The Bulldogs held the Friars to 34.6 percent from the field in the second half and 38.8 percent for the game.
"There's a lot we can build on from this game," Morgan said.
Yale is back in action on Thursday at Boston College. Tip off at Conte Forum is slated for 7 p.m.
Photo caption: Reggie Willhite's dunk late in the second half tied the score (David Silverman/dspics.com)
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity