Dec. 3, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Three-point shooting has been a struggle for the Yale men's basketball team early in the season. So when the Bulldogs made four in the first five minutes of Wednesday's game with Holy Cross, the 1,235 in attendance at the John J. Lee Amphitheater had to feel pretty good about the eventual outcome. They were right as Yale held off the Crusaders for a 76-66 non-league victory.
"That really got us going," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball, of the four early three-pointers. "I thought it gave us some energy."
Alex Zampier led the way with a career-high 28 points on 10 of 16 shooting from the field. Porter Braswell added 13 points, three assists and three steals, and Garrett Fiddler had 10 points for the Bulldogs. Travis Pinick grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds, including six on the offensive end.
"I just tried to let the game come to me," said Zampier, who also had four rebounds, four steals and three assists in 35 minutes. "A lot of plays were run for me."
Yale (2-4) got a significant contribution from its bench as well. Jordan Gibson scored six points and pulled down three rebounds, Paul Nelson had four points and five rebounds and freshman Greg Mangano chipped in with four rebounds and three blocked shots.
"Bench guys are always better at home," Jones said. "I feel we have a lot of depth. There are a number of guys who can contribute."
The 76 points were a season-high for Yale, which has won two of its last three games.
"I thought our offense flowed better tonight," Jones said. "We had a good all-around mix of what we were trying to do."
The four early three-pointers helped the Bulldogs race out to a 12-2 lead after five minutes. The Crusaders pulled within six, but Yale answered with a 12-6 run and led 42-28 at halftime.
The Bulldogs built their biggest lead of the game, 48-30, early in the second half, but Holy Cross slowly chipped away and pulled within seven, 55-48, on Eric Meister's free throw with 8:22 remaining.
Zampier's layup gave Yale a 64-52 lead with 4:02 left, but the Crusaders made one more run, getting within six, 72-66, on Andrew Beinert's three-pointer with 42 seconds left. Gibson, though, made four free throws in the final 34 seconds to seal the victory.
Beinert led the Crusaders with 15 points. Greg McCarthy and R.J. Evans both added 12 points.
Holy Cross (2-6) committed 19 turnovers, which Yale turned into 24 points.
There were 50 fouls called in the game, and the two teams combined to shoot 67 free throws.
The Bulldogs held the Crusaders to 37.7 percent shooting from the field.
Yale returns to action on Saturday for a game at Wagner. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity