December 7, 2011

Bulldogs Extend Winning Streak To Five; Knock Off Bryant 76-59

Balanced Effort, Big Second Half Leads Yale To Victory

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's basketball team will enter its 10-day break for final exams feeling quite good about itself. The Bulldogs used a big second half and a balanced scoring attack to knock off Bryant 76-59 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Yale has now won five straight and six of its last seven.

Greg Mangano scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and Austin Morgan added 10 points, three rebounds and three assists.

The Bulldogs (7-2) also got a strong game from the bench, which contributed 24 points. Freshman Brandon Sherrod led the way with 10 points and four rebounds. Isaiah Salafia had four points and two assists, Sam Martin and Jesse Pritchard each scored three points, and Javier Duren and Matt Townsend had two points apiece.

"We need our bench," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "That's important for us to be good. We can't have our starters playing 35 minutes a night."

Yale needed all of it as the final margin was a little deceiving. The score was tied at 27 at halftime, and the game featured nine ties and 11 lead changes.

The Bulldogs seized control with a 7-0 run midway through the second half that snapped a 52-52 tie. Reggie Willhite capped the spurt with a layup off a feed from Morgan that made 59-52 with 4:55 left.

Bryant (1-8) got back within three, 59-56, but Yale scored the next six points, including two Michael Grace free throws that made it 65-56 with 2:45 remaining.

"I don't know if it was because we were playing our third game in five days, but we were sluggish at the start," Jones said. "We picked up ourselves at crunch time and that's what we needed to do."

The Bulldogs outscored Bryant 49-32 in the second half.

Corey Maynard led Bryant with 15 points. Alex Francis and Claybrin McMath both added 10.

Yale shot 45.1 percent from the field in the game and finished with 15 assists and only 10 turnovers.

"We got good play from our point guards," said Mangano of Grace and Salafia, who combined for five assists and no turnovers.

The five-game winning streak is the longest for the Bulldogs since the 2008-09 season.

"We have great team chemistry," Mangano said of the success. "In any given game, we have a number of players that score can score 20 points. If we share the ball and play together, I think we'll be tough to beat."

Added Jones, "I like this team. I think we have a chance to be very good."

NOTES: The 10 points were a career-high for Sherrod… Yale is now 3-0 at home and has outscored its opponents 245-148… The Bulldogs were 23-of-28 from the foul line, while Bryant was just 7-of-17… Yale had a 30-29 edge in rebounds… The Bulldogs don't play again until Jan. 18 against Rhode Island at 2 p.m… Yale's next home isn't until Jan. 3 against Holy Cross.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity