February 19, 2011

Bulldogs Drop Last Second Heartbreaker To Penn 60-58

Zack Rosen Hits Winning Basket With 2.3 Seconds Left

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – No team has faced more heartbreak in Ivy League play this season than Penn. Three of the Quakers' four league losses have come in overtime. So, perhaps Penn was due to win a thriller. Unfortunately for most of the 1,983 fans that showed up at the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Saturday, it came at Yale's expense.

Zack Rosen's pull up jump shot in the lane with 2.3 seconds left snapped a 58-58 tie and lifted the Quakers to a 60-58 victory.

Rosen's heroics spoiled a big comeback by the Bulldogs, who trailed by 17 points midway through the first half.

Yale, which was behind 32-24 at halftime, started the second half with a 14-4 run to take the lead. The game was back and forth for most of the rest of the way.

Greg Mangano's layup gave the Bulldogs their final lead, 56-55, with four minutes remaining. Jack Eggleston's free throw tied the score, and Tyler Bernardini's jump shot gave the Quakers a 58-56 lead. Mangano answered for the Bulldogs on their next possession, setting up the dramatic finish.

Yale (12-12, 5-5 Ivy) had a chance to take the lead on a couple of occasions in the final minute. Porter Braswell missed a three-pointer, but Reggie Willhite grabbed the offensive rebound to give the Bulldogs another possession.

Austin Morgan then drove to the basket but missed a runner. Morgan grabbed his own rebound, but his put-back was blocked by Mike Howlett. Eggleston corralled the loose ball with 25 seconds left, and the Quakers were able to hold for the last shot.

"I didn't want to call timeout because I didn't want to give them a chance to change their defense and settle themselves," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball, of Yale's final possession.

Rosen then kept control of the ball, drove into the lane, and swished a short jumper from just inside the foul line.

Morgan nearly won it for the Bulldogs, but his half-court shot hit the front of the rim as time expired.

Mangano had another big night for the Bulldogs, scoring 26 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to post his 10th double-double of the season. He was 11-of-17 from the field and added two blocks and a steal in 37 minutes. Braswell added 13 points, and Willhite scored seven.

Bernardini led Penn (11-12, 5-4 Ivy) with 16 points.

For the second straight night, a poor start hurt Yale. Penn led 10-4 after six minutes, and took its biggest lead of the game, 28-11, on a Miles Cartwright layup with six minutes left. In Friday's 58-51 loss to Princeton, the Bulldogs shot just 29 percent from the field in the first half and trailed 30-18 at the intermission.

"We didn't play to our potential in the first half in either game," Jones said. "Our offense was sluggish, and we didn't make a lot of open shots."

The second half was a bit of a different story. Yale shot 52 percent, and it was Mangano and Braswell that did most the damage. The two combined to score 25 of the Bulldogs' 34 second-half points.

"It's frustrating," Braswell said of the two weekend losses. "If we come out strong, we win both games. We dominated the second half in both games."

NOTES: Yale outscored Penn 12-4 from the foul line… Morgan finished with six assists, one shy of his career high… Jesse Pritchard gave the Bulldogs a solid effort off the bench. He finished with three points and two rebounds in nine minutes… Yale plays it final two home games next weekend, hosting Dartmouth on Friday at 7 p.m. and Harvard on Saturday at 6 p.m... Seniors Braswell, Raffi Mantilla and Alfonso Costa will be honored prior to Saturday's game.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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