Feb. 28, 2009
PRINCETON, N.J. - Each time during its three-game winning streak, Yale rallied from a significant deficit en route to the victory. It looked like the Bulldogs might use the same formula to extend the streak Saturday against Princeton. Instead, the early hole Yale dug for itself was too much to overcome. The Tigers scored the first 14 points of the game and then held off the Bulldogs to earn a 62-54 win before a crowd of 2,784 at Jadwin Gym.
Princeton (12-12, 7-4 Ivy) made six of its first seven shots, including a pair of three-pointers, to take the early lead. Yale didn't score its first points until there was 13:57 left in the first half.
"The first five minutes of the game were crucial," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "We didn't do a good job of executing our offense."
Dan Mavraides had 16 points and six rebounds to lead the Tigers, while Douglas Davis scored all 12 of his points in the second half.
Yale (12-14, 7-5 Ivy) missed an opportunity to gain ground on first-place Cornell, who lost to Harvard 71-70. The Bulldogs are now tied with Dartmouth for third place. Both teams are a half-game behind Princeton and trail Cornell by two games. Yale hosts Dartmouth and Harvard next weekend, while Cornell plays at home against Penn and Princeton.
Despite the poor start, the Bulldogs quickly worked their way back into the game by scoring 13 straight points to cut the Princeton lead to one. The Tigers, though, then ran off seven consecutive points and led 27-20 at the intermission.
Princeton built the lead to 11 early in the second half, but Yale again rallied. Three Zampier free throws cut the deficit to one, 35-34, with 15 minutes left. The Tigers went back ahead by eight, but a conventional three-point play from Jordan Gibson pulled Yale within 51-48 with 3:33 remaining.
Davis, though, answered with a three-pointer, and the Bulldogs were never able to get closer than four the rest of the way.
Princeton shot 53.7 percent from the field in the game, including 65 percent (13 of 20) in the second half.
"We did a poor job defensively," Jones said. "We allowed them to do what they do."
In the first meeting between the teams two weeks ago, Yale dominated the Tigers on the glass, outrebounding them 43-23 in a 60-48 win. It was a different story on Saturday. Princeton had a 24-22 edge in rebounding and outscored the Bulldogs 28-20 in the paint.
Yale concludes the regular season next weekend, hosting Dartmouth on Friday and Harvard on Saturday. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity