February 25, 2011

Four Players Score In Double Figures As Bulldogs Knock Off Dartmouth In Overtime 79-75

Braswell Scores 19 To Lead Balanced Attack

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After Yale's 69-64 victory over Brown in the Ivy opener back in mid January, James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball, said he thought every league game would go down to the wire. Boy is he proving prophetic. The Bulldogs had another nail-biter on Friday, edging Dartmouth 79-75 in overtime at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

All 11 of Yale's Ivy games have been decided by nine points or less, and the winning margin has been five or less in seven of the games. Friday was the first one that needed five extra minutes to find a winner.

Porter Braswell led four Yale players in double figures with 19 points. Greg Mangano (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Reggie Willhite (10 points, 11 rebounds) both posted double-doubles, while Jeremiah Kreisberg added 14 points, six rebounds and three assists.

The biggest basket of the night, though, may have come from freshman Isaiah Salafia. The Bulldogs fell behind by four, 69-65, early in the overtime period but scored five straight points. The last three came on Salafia's three-pointer, only his fourth of the season. Salafia had missed his first three three-pointers, including one late in the second half.

"If you don't have confidence to shoot it, you shouldn't be out there," said Salafia, who finished with a career-high seven points. "Coach told me in the huddle not to be tentative. It was definitely a relief when it went in."

There were still a few anxious moments for the Bulldogs. Dartmouth's Gediminas Bertasius hit one of two free throws to tie the score at 70 with 1:21 left. Mangano, though, answered with a basket that gave the Bulldogs the lead with 58 seconds remaining.

Mangano then blocked Ronnie Dixon's layup on Dartmouth's next possession.  It was one of seven blocks for Mangano, who was a defensive force in the middle.

Two Salafia free throws made it a two possession game with 26 seconds left. The Big Green got back within two, 75-73, on Tyler Melville's layup with 10 seconds left, but Yale quickly got the ball to Braswell, who calmly sank two free throws. After a Bertasius layup, Braswell made two more foul shots with .4 seconds left to seal the victory.

In all, the Bulldogs were 7-of-8 from the foul line in the final 26 seconds.

"Dartmouth did a real nice job," Jones said. "They've shown they are capable of being pretty good. They beat Cornell by [seven] and had a lead on Harvard in the second half. They made some shots, and we didn't do a good job of stopping penetration."

Dixon paced the Big Green (5-20, 1-10 Ivy) with 18 points off the bench. Melville scored 12 points, and Clive Weeden had nine points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

There were 15 ties and 13 lead changes in the game. Both teams biggest lead was six points.

Braswell did most of his damage after halftime when he scored 14 of his points.

"He made good decisions down the stretch," Jones said. "He's a bull. He was either able to finish or get fouled.

Braswell finished 8-for-8 from the foul line.

The Bulldogs (13-12, 6-5 Ivy) have little time to savor the victory. They host first-place Harvard on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Crimson rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to defeat Brown 74-68.

NOTES: Willhite's double-double was the first of his career. He also added four steals. His 11 rebounds were a career-high… The Bulldogs have now won 12 straight over the Big Green in New Haven… The Bulldogs had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but Austin Morgan's three-pointer from the baseline rimmed out… Yale outrebounded Dartmouth 41-36… The Big Green was just 17-of-30 from the foul line… The Bulldogs made only two field goals in overtime but were 9-of-10 from the foul line… Yale seniors Braswell, Alfonso Costa and Raffi Mantilla will be honored prior to Saturday's game, the Bulldogs final home game of the season.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity