Yale men beat Bryant
Assistant Sports Editor
NEW HAVEN – Yale center Greg Mangano hopes his game will one day take him to the NBA. He has the complete for a big man, possessing good hands, a gentle touch around the basket and even a flair for the dramatic.
With the score tied with less than seven minutes to play Mangano buried a wild 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock to spark a 7-0 run and the Bulldogs went on to their fifth straight victory, a 76-59 decision over Bryant in a non-league at the Lee Amphitheater Wednesday night.
“When Greg hit the 3-pointer it kind of got us going,” Yale coach James Jones said. “It was one of those prayers. He had three guys hanging on him and he just threw it at the rim. We had so many other good looks that didn’t go in so that kind of got us going.
“We were not mentally in it 100 percent until crunch time but we picked ourselves up then. I don’t know if it was because we played three games in five days.”
Mangano disagreed that his Jones that his shot was a divine intervention but both were in agreement that the senior from Orange could have played better despite his 21-point, nine-rebound outburst.
“Greg goes for 21-and-nine and I don’t think he played well at all,” Jones said. “That’s my expectation of this young man. He can be a great, great player for us.”
Mangano also had two blocked shots moving him closer to Chris Dudley for the school’s all-time record in that department. He needs just three to break the record.
“It’s an honor to be compared with Chris,” Mangano said. “He had a great career here and a great career in the NBA. Protecting the basket is a big part of our defense and that falls on my shoulders. Blocking shots and rebounding is big. I try to keep the ball inbounds when I block it, too.”
With five straight wins Yale is off to a 7-2 start, the best Jones’ 14-year tenure with the team.
“I’m not going to say this is the best team I’ve had,” he said. “I had a team that won a championship. This team has not won one yet. I like this team and we can be very good. We’re a talented team but we still have a ways to go.”
Both Mangano and Jones and feel this team is loaded with ability bringing with it a confidence in a series of tight games all of which have gone the Bulldogs’ way.
“We have great team chemistry,” Mangano said. “We proved that against Vermont and the second half of the Sacred Heart game (both recent wins). On any given night anyone can have 20 points. When we move the ball and share the ball it’s pretty obvious.
“The past couple of games I was definitely confident in our guys and myself that we would pull it out.”
Wednesday’s game was a see-saw affair until Mangano’s basket gave Yale the lead for good. His short jumper a couple of minutes later gave the Bulldogs a 67-57 lead with 2:17 to play. Bryant never got closer than double-digits again.
Austin Morgan added 10 points and Yale also got great help from its bench which Jones knows will be crucial in the back-to-back nights of Ivy League play. The reserves scored 24 points led by freshman Brandon Sherrod who also had 10 points, and four rebounds. Fellow freshman Matt Townsend also looked good in 10 minutes of action and guard Javier Duren returned to play after missing a few weeks due to injury.
Bryant, a talented offensive team, fell apart down the stretch losing its seventh straight game. Corey Maynard had 15 points and Alex Francis and Claybin McMath finished with 10.
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