Road Stretch Ends With Trip To Penn, Princeton

Austin Morgan (dspics.com)

Bulldogs Play Quakers Friday, Tigers Saturday

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs conclude a stretch of four straight road games with a trip south this weekend. Yale is at Penn on Friday at 7 p.m. and then visits Princeton for a 6 p.m. tip off on Saturday.

Senior Austin Morgan leads the Bulldogs in several categories, including scoring (11.8 ppg.), three-pointers (43) and free throw percentage (.909). Morgan has made 18 straight free throws dating back to the Florida game on Jan. 6, and his .909 percentage is eighth in the nation. As his outstanding career heads to the home stretch, he also is approaching a number of career milestones. His 182 career three-pointers are the third most in school history, and he could still catch Eric Flato '08 (213) for second all-time. In addition, his current career free throw percentage of .854 would be a Yale record. Ed Petersen '92 (.850) currently holds the mark. As a team, Yale also has done well at the foul line. The Bulldogs are shooting 76.8 percent (73-of-95) in Ivy games and were 41-of-47 (.872) in the two games last weekend. Yale leads the Ivy League in rebounding margin (+3.5) and offensive rebounds (12.6 per game) and is second in scoring offense (66.0 ppg.). Sophomore Matt Townsend is coming off a solid weekend. Townsend averaged 12 points and six rebounds against Harvard and Dartmouth.

HARVARD-DARTMOUTH WEEKEND NOTES

•   Matt Townsend scored a career-high 16 points in Saturday's game with Dartmouth. He was 6-of-6 from the free throw line and added six rebounds, including five on the offensive end, in 24 minutes.

•   Austin Morgan scored 15 of his game-high 20 points in the second half against the Big Green. It was the third time this season Morgan scored 20 or more points in a game.

•   Armani Cotton paced the Bulldogs with 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field against Harvard. He scored Yale's first 10 points as the Bulldogs raced out to an early 10-2 lead.

•   Yale and Dartmouth combined to make 43-of-48 free throws in Saturday's game. The Big Green was 19-of-20 from the foul line in the second half.

HISTORY LESSONS

Yale split the season series with both Penn and Princeton last year. The last time Yale swept the Penn-Princeton road weekend was during the 1986-87 season.

Yale and Penn are playing for the 217th time. The Quakers have won the last three meetings at the Palestra and lead the all-time series 146-70. Michael Grace averaged 11 points in two games against Penn last year.

Yale and Princeton have met at least once every year since 1902, which ties the series with Yale-Columbia as the oldest continuous series in Division I. Each team won on its home floor last year. The Bulldogs' last victory at Jadwin Gym came in 2008. Jeremiah Kreisberg averaged 9.5 points in the two games with the Tigers last year.

SCOUTING PENN

The Quakers (4-16, 1-2 Ivy) are coming off a split with Columbia and Cornell last weekend. Miles Cartwright scored Penn's last eight points in a hard-fought 62-58 victory over Columbia. The next night, Cornell rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to edge the Quakers 71-69. Fran Dougherty (13.8 ppg.) and Cartwright (13.7 ppg.) lead the team in scoring. Dougherty also averages 8.1 rebounds, while Cartwright has a team-best 66 assists. Jerome Allen is in his fourth year as the head coach of the Quakers.

SCOUTING PRINCETON

The Tigers, who host Brown on Friday, have won five straight games overall and have a 20-game winning streak in Ivy League games at Jadwin Gym. Ian Hummer is second in the league in scoring (15.9 ppg.) and fourth in rebounding (6.7 rpg.). Hummer was named the Ivy League Player of the Week for the fifth time this season after averaging 19.0 points in a sweep of Cornell and Columbia last week. Princeton (10-7, 3-0 Ivy) is No. 1 in the Ivy League and No. 14 in the nation (through Feb. 3) in scoring defense, now at 57.5 ppg. allowed. Mitch Henderson is in his second season as the head coach of the Tigers.

YALE PICKED SIXTH IN PRESEASON MEDIA POLL

The Bulldogs have finished fourth or better in the Ivy League in each of the last 12 years. That didn't earn Yale much respect in the preseason Ivy League media poll, which projected a sixth-place finish for the Bulldogs. Yale, though, has a history of proving the prognosticators wrong. In five of the last seven years, the Bulldogs have finished higher than projected.

2012-13 IVY LEAGUE PRESEASON MEDIA POLL

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

First-Place Votes in Parentheses

Rank       School............................................ Points

1.             Princeton (16)..................................... 134

2.             Harvard (1)......................................... 109

3.             Columbia.............................................. 90

4.             Cornell................................................. 80

5.             Penn.................................................... 74

6.             Yale...................................................... 55

7.             Brown.................................................. 50

8.             Dartmouth........................................... 20

MEET THE NEWCOMERS

The 2012-13 Yale roster features four freshmen. Khaliq Bedart-Ghani (Inglewood, CA), Jack Montague (Brentwood, TN), Justin Sears (Plainfield, NJ) and Nick Victor (Dallas, TX) all bring strong credentials. Bedart-Ghani led Loyola High School in California in rebounding and blocks as a senior last winter. Montague was the district, region and county most valuable player as a senior at Brentwood High School. He averaged 17.0 points and seven assists and scored more than 1,200 career points. Sears earned first team all-state, all-area and all-county honors as a senior at Plainfield High School in New Jersey. He scored 1,048 points and grabbed 1,063 rebounds in his career to become only the second player in school history to score over 1,000 points and grab more than 1,000 rebounds. He helped lead Plainfield to two New Jersey Tournament of Champion title games where it lost to national power St. Anthony's both times. Victor spent one year at the Winchendon School and earned NEPSAC honorable mention recognition. At Lovejoy High School in Dallas, Texas, he was the 2010 District most valuable player.

2012-13 SCHEDULE NOTES

•  The Bulldogs didn't play their first home game until Saturday, Nov. 24 against Army. That was the first of 12 games in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

•  Yale played in the NABC Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. The first game was at Saint Joseph, the Atlantic 10 preseason favorite. The Bulldogs then headed to Evansville, Ind., for three games, against Evansville, Buffalo and Western Illinois.

•  Yale faced a very challenging three-game road trip right after Christmas. The Bulldogs travelled to Nevada, Saint Mary's and Iowa State. The trip to Nevada was a homecoming for Reno native Austin Morgan, Jeremiah Kreisberg hails from Berkeley, Calif., a short distance from the Saint. Mary's campus while the trip to Iowa State was a homecoming for Ames, Iowa, native Jesse Pritchard.

•  The biggest test of the season, though, came in Lee Amphitheater when preseason No. 10 Florida visited on Jan. 6. The Gators return three starters from a squad that went 26-11 and fell one game shy of the Final Four last year.

•  The Florida game was one of two in the Amphitheater that will be nationally televised. The NBC Sports Network was in town for the game with the Gators, while CBS Sports Television will show the home game with Harvard on Feb. 23.

•  Yale kicked off Ivy League play on Jan. 19 at Brown. Five of the first six Ivy games will be on the road.

WILLHITE DRAFTED IN 5TH ROUND OF NBA D-LEAGUE DRAFT

Reggie Willhite, the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year last year as a senior at Yale, was selected in the fifth round of the 2012 NBA Development League Draft on Nov. 2. Willhite was selected by the Reno Bighorns with the fifth pick in the fifth round. He was the 70th player chosen overall. Willhite becomes the third Yale player to be drafted by a D-League team. Alex Zampier '10 was chosen in the seventh round of the 2012 draft by the New Mexico Thunderbirds and Travis Pinick '09 was taken in the eighth round of the 2009 draft by the Los Angeles D-Fenders Willhite enjoyed an outstanding career for the Bulldogs. As a senior, he earned second team All-Ivy recognition, set a single-season school record with 65 steals and was 17th in the nation in steals (2.24 per game). Willhite joins a long list of players that have earned professional opportunities during James Jones' tenure as the head coach at Yale. Ted Smith (England), Matt Minoff (Israel), Paul Vitelli (Italy), Dominick Martin (Spain), Matt Kyle (Portugal), Caleb Holmes (Iceland), Ross Morin (Switzerland), Eric Flato (England), Greg Mangano (Turkey) and Edwin Draughan (France) have all played overseas. Zampier, Pinick and Neil Yanke (tryout with Los Angeles Lakers) both had opportunities in the United States.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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