ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dell replaces Watney for Red Sox reporter

If you already miss Heidi Watney from the Red Sox, the on-field reporter, here is her replacement, Jenny Dell

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yale prepares for 2 more heavyweights

Yale's split against Harvard and Dartmouth certainly didn't seal its fate in the Ivy League but it made this weekend very important.
The Bulldogs welcome Penn into town on Friday night and then have to turn around and meet Princeton.
While Princeton also has the quick turnaround, playing Brown the previous night, it frankly isn't as difficult as getting ready to play Penn.
Brown is 1-3 in the league and actually is quite similar to Yale.
The difference between preparing for Penn and Princeton is night and day.
Chatted with Greg Mangano's dad the other day and he said his son is tired.
It certainly hasn't hindered his play but think about Mangano's grueling schedule in the past year.
Twice he went to China, the first time playing exhibitions with his teammates. Then he tried out for the World University Games and earned a spot on Team USA.
You know how hard he had to work to make that team.
Now he's the focal point of opposing defenses every night of the season at Yale.
After the season is over he'll get little time off as you can be sure he'll be headed to every NBA camp he can to get more exposure.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Harvard drills Yale - video highlights

Here is some video of the disappointing night at the Lee Amphitheater as Harvard pounded Yale 65-35.
The 3-pointer in the video hit by Greg Mangano was his 1,000th point of his career.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quinnipiac tops Mount St. Mary's in overtime

HAMDEN – Nothing is coming easy for the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team this year. But, after two straight overtime victories maybe the Bobcats have things headed in the right direction.
Quinnipiac spotted Mount St. Mary’s a 15-point halftime lead but roared back early in the second half and pulled out a 69-66 overtime win in a Northeast Conference game at the TD Bank Sports Center Thursday. The Bobcats got 20 points from Ike Azotam and 26 second-chance points on the way to the victory.

Ousmane Drame scored 13 points and grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds and James Johnson added 15 points for the Bobcats (11-9, 4-5 NEC).
“The last three years we’ve closed the season 6-3, 9-1 and 10-1,” Quinnipiac coach Tom Moore said. “This is the time of the year we need more energy from them.”
They also need another big finish. The Bobcats entered play on Thursday in eighth place in the NEC and only the top eight teams qualify for the postseason tournament.
“We can’t afford to lose any because we’re battling for our spot in the (NEC) tournament,” Azotam said. “Each game is equally important.”
The Mountaineers (4-16, 2-7) got a game-high 22 points from Julian Norfleet but the flashy sophomore guard missed a 3-pointer at the overtime buzzer which would have tied the game again.
Second-half defense has been Moore’s biggest concern in NEC play. On Thursday the Bobcats didn’t play any defense in the first half and Mount St. Mary’s took a stunning 43-28 lead at the half shooting 52 percent from the field.
“I was shocked and disappointed with our play in the first half,” Moore said. “But this is the second game in the row that we played much better defense in the second half and it led us to two wins.”
Quinnipiac opened the second half on a 16-2 run to get back in the game as the Mount managed just a dunk by Raven Barber in the first eight minutes after the break.
“I only had 11 minutes at half to give them a spanking, a pep talk and everything,” Moore said. “I had to talk quick and be a parent but I had to get them to understand that we weren’t going to get 15 points in the first minute. I told them to see where we were at the 10-minute mark.”
Said Azotam: “I like the way we came out in the second half. We knew we could come back because we did it against Boston University.”
The Mount tied the game at 61 at the end of regulation when Kelvin Parker rolled in two of his 16 points from close range in the final seconds.
Quinnipiac never trailed in the extra session. Azotam gave the Bobcats a 67-65 lead with 1:10 to play. After Barber hit one of two free throws to close the gap to 67-66, Drame had the biggest basket of the game with a putback of a deflected airball by Zaid Hearst with 20 seconds left.
“We send multiple guys to the glass and that’s just Ousmane having a great feel for the game,” Moore said.
Quinnipiac played without forward Jamee Jackson who missed the game with a strained Achilles tendon. Moore said he was questionable for Saturday’s game against second-place Wagner.
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Yale plays Harvard on Friday: the preview

By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor
NEW HAVEN -- Contrary to popular belief the Ivy League trophy will not be awarded to the winner of Friday night’s Yale-Harvard men’s basketball game.
The teams were picked one-two in the league’s preseason poll and have not disappointed.
Harvard (16-2) gained national recognition after winning an early-season tournament loaded with national powers in the Bahamas and leaping into both national Top 25 polls. The Crimson are currently ranked 23rd in the nation in the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll and dropped out of the AP poll after a recent loss at Fordham. Harvard finished in a tie for the Ivy League title last year but lost the league’s title game against Princeton 63-62 in a game also played at the Lee Amphitheater.
Yale (12-4) has won four straight and is 6-0 at home on the season. The Bulldogs racked up 10 wins before the league schedule, the most since the 1991-92 season.
They’re both 2-0 in the league play tied with Penn atop the standings.
Those are the resumes. You already know about the rivalry.
The Bulldogs host the Crimson at the Lee Amphitheater at 7 p.m. The game is a sell-out and has been the talk of the campus for weeks.
“Sure it’s early but it’s Harvard-Yale and that makes it a big game,” said Yale guard Austin Morgan. “The fact that we were both picked to do well in the Ivy League makes it even bigger. It’s always good to have the New Haven community excited about the game.
“I don’t know how many times it’s been a sell-out but we’re excited to be a part of it.”
While the Bulldogs are anxious to play in front of a packed house, Yale coach James Jones isn’t concerned with counting tickets.
“Every Tom, Dick and Harry has called me for a ticket for the game,” he said. "We’ve been sold out for three weeks and I expect the atmosphere to be as good as gets. But I don’t care if we play in front of four people, I’d rather come out with a ‘W’”
Jones has a masters in coach-speak. It’s one-game-at-a-time and a win here doesn’t mean anything if you lose the next night. In the Ivy League that’s the rule, because win or lose, Yale hosts Dartmouth on Saturday and then has to get ready for Penn and Princeton the next night.
But it also can make Friday’s game all the more important. If the Bulldogs can’t beat Harvard at home it will be awfully hard to do so in Cambridge, Mass., in a few of weeks. And there’s always that two-game trip to Princeton and Penn at the end of the season to worry about. Very few teams ever sweep that series. All the games are the same," Jones said. "If we win on Friday and then lose on Saturday we’re in the same place. You want to win all 14 of them and this one is only different because it’s a home game. You want to be in control of your destiny.”
Yale split the season series with Harvard last season with both teams winning nail-biters on their home courts. For the most part the cast of characters is the same. Jones said Harvard is a little deeper than it was last year.
"They don’t have any bad players and by that I mean they don’t play anyone just because you need to spell a guy,” Jones said. “Everybody that they play this year is capable, very good basketball players. At that same time you look at a guy like Christian Webster, who I think is tremendous and Kyle Casey, who is tremendous, and they’re all playing less minutes than they did last year because they have a good group of freshmen.”
Said Morgan: “We have to play as a team. Harvard is good all-around. If we can get the ball inside out, the strength of our team is inside, we’ll be successful.”
While Harvard certainly has a ton of talent Yale will counter with its “Big Three” of Morgan, who is second in the nation in free throw shooting (93.7 percent), defensive wizard Reggie Willhite, and Orange's Greg Mangano, the top post player in the league.
Mangano leads the Ivy in scoring (19.4 ppg), rebounding (10.3 rpg) and blocks (40). After playing with Team USA over the summer in the World University Games in China, he has continued to progress toward the elite big men in the nation.
And what will make Friday night even more special is that Mangano needs just three points to become the 24th player in program history to reach 1,000 for his career.
His presence, along with smooth sophomore Jeremiah Kreisberg is where Jones starts his game-planning.
“Our advantages, like every game, are that we’re better inside than most every team that we play,” Jones said. “Harvard is pretty good inside, too. What I’ve come to understand is that there are players in this country that if you give them the ball on the blocks and expect them to score and you happen to have five or six of them in this game.
“It should be thrilling and fun to watch.”
Said Morgan: “They’re a good team and they’re getting respected because of it. We’re trying to get respect, too. That’s why they play the games, to see who’s better.”
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Yale vs. Harvard available on All-Access for free

Video of the Yale-Harvard men's basketball game will be made free to the public by visiting the Yale athletics web site.

Click here for the link.

The game is a sell-out

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yale's Pritchard ready to make noise against Harvard

By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor
There are 17 players on the Yale men’s basketball team, the most coach James Jones has had in his 13 years at the school. And on a 12-4 team brimming with talent escaping the back end of the bench can be extremely difficult.

Jones, however, always keeps an open mind and his eyes even wider. If you can help his team in some way you will get a chance.
Jesse Pritchard got that opportunity on Saturday and he made the most of it. Pritchard, a defensive whiz with a fine jump shot, came off the bench to score nine crucial points, all in the second half, and played stifling defense as Yale knocked off Brown 73-60 to move to 2-0 in the Ivy League.
Pritchard’s success could give Jones and the Bulldogs another wrinkle as they prepare to play rival Harvard (16-2) Friday night at the Lee Amphitheater.
Pritchard, a 6-5 sophomore swingman from Ames, Iowa, admits it was hard to adjust to life as a role player. He plays behind Yale captain Reggie Willhite, who is perhaps the league’s top defensive player and the team’s third-leading scorer. Willhite is a spectacular athlete, one whose talents are seen in leagues like the Big East.
Pritchard spells Willhite when in foul trouble or need of a rest. He’s played in 15 games averaging eight minutes of action. With Willhite saddled with foul trouble throughout Saturday’s game, Pritchard played a season-high 21 minutes and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
“We’re fortunate to have a veteran team that’s playing really well,” Jones said. “We think a lot about Jesse. He’s played pretty hard at practice. It’s so hard (to get him minutes) because Reggie is such a dominant player it’s hard to take him off the court.”
“(Saturday) was the most minutes he played all year and that’s a credit to him that he was ready. Jesse does it in a different way than Reggie. Jesse’s a better shooter than Reggie and more of a physical defender as opposed to an athletic defender like Reggie is.”
Said Pritchard : “Everyone on the team was a star in high school so adjusting to limited playing time and having to be ready every minute to do your best definitely took some time. Coach always says that you can’t control whether you make a shot or not but you can control how hard you play.
“My goal is whenever I get my name called in to go into the game to play as hard as I can and the rest will take care of itself. It helps that I can play defense and I can help out that way, but I’m also a shooter and when I come in it can be nerve-wracking to come in make a shot.”
But Pritchard doesn’t lack for confidence. On Saturday, his 3-pointer helped give Yale a double-digit lead for the first time in the game.
“My dad used to tell me that basketball is 90 percent confidence and the other 10 percent is confidence,” he said. “You have to believe in yourself and I do but to be able to go in there (against Brown) and help the team out was a big boost. It also gets some confidence in my teammates in what I can do. I think I proved myself and the next time I come in if I’m open they’ll give me the ball and know that I can knock it down.”
Pritchard said that the chemistry on this team is one of the keys to its early-season success.
“You look at our bench and someone scores or if I come in they’re all hoping that I do well,” he said. “We love each other on and off the court. Everyone wants to get off the bench and get some playing time but if we don’t it’s a team win.”
Pritchard played a year of prep basketball at Blair Academy (Warren County, N.J.), the same school that produced NBA stars Luol Deng and Charlie Villanueva. He is excited for Friday’s contest.
“We all expect to win,” he said. “It’s a matter of protecting our homecourt. We don’t like Harvard. We know we’re as good as they are and the way people have been talking about them, I kind of feel disrespected in a way.
“It kind of feels like they’re going to walk away with the (Ivy League title) and there’s a lot of basketball to be played.”
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yale-Harvard game approaching

Yale hosts Harvard on Friday night. The game is a sell-out.
I will have a feature and advance during the week and a gameday capsule.
If you don't have tickets for Friday night's game the Bulldogs play Dartmouth in a classic letdown game on Saturday.
They also host Penn and Princeton the following week so things aren't getting any easier.

Check back soon for my previews of Friday night's contest.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Former Quinnipiac coach Jim Armstrong passes away

By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor
Jim Armstrong, a former Quinnipiac hockey coach and member of the New Haven Blades, died unexpectedly on Saturday.
Armstrong, 68, coached at Quinnipiac from 1980 to 1994 compiling a record of 140-183-8. He played junior hockey in Canada before joining several minor league hockey teams.
East Haven High coach Lou Pane, who was a captain for Armstrong’s team in 1985 remembered him as true leader.
“He was truly a mentor to all of us, Pane said. “He not only taught us about the game of hockey but how to become men.
“His loyalty to his team will live on forever. Without him I would have never gone to college.”
Armstrong played goalie for the wildly popular Blades in the New Haven Arena in 1963-1965 and again in 1971-72, the Blades’ last season.
He was originally from Peterborough, Ontario and lived in Hamden for over four decades.
Armstrong, born on March 1, 1943, played . He also played minor league hockey for the Saginaw (Mich.) Gears and the Seattle Totem Poles.
The family had no service plans to release.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Here's my profile on SCSU's Sylvonya Moore

The Southern women's basketball team won its 12th straight game on Saturday.
Click here for my story on their star guard: Sylvonya Moore.

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Yale beats Brown, goes to 2-0 in the Ivy

The Yale men's basketball team pulled away from Brown late in the second half to move to 2-0 in the Ivy League.
The win sets up the monstrous game with Harvard on Friday at the Lee Amphitheater.
Greg Mangano scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the win.
Jesse Pritchard came off the bench to provide a big spark. He had nine points and eight rebounds for Yale, which outrebounded Brown 49-31. Austin Morgan had 10 points and five assists.

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Yale squash team edges Rochester

When I talked to Yale men's squash team captain Ryan Dowd on Friday, he told me the Bulldogs were in for a dogfight with Rochester on Saturday.
The Bulldogs were indeed but pulled out a 5-4 win to knock off the No. 4 team on its homecourt.

Yale should take over the No. 1 spot in the nation when the new poll is released on Monday.

Rochester's Andres Duany defeated junior Kenneth Chan 3-0 at the No. 1 spot, but junior Hywel Robinson (3-2) and junior Richard Dodd (also 3-2) earned tough wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively, to spark the Elis.

Three of the big winners from Yale's streak-busting win over No. 1 Trinity also grabbed victories, as captain Ryan Dowd (3-0), sophomore Neil Martin (3-2) and senior Robby Berner (3-0) won at 5, 6 and 7.

The loss was only the second of Rochester's season (the other came at the hands of Ancient Eight rival Princeton). With the win, Yale moves its record to 9-0.

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Askew sets Albertus rebounding mark

Hamden's Ray Askew, a senior at Albertus Magnus became the team's all-time rebounding leader.
Here are the details from the AMC site and a photo from Ron Waite.

Ray Askew (Hamden, Conn.) of the Albertus Magnus men’s basketball team pulled down nine rebounds in Saturday’s Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest to become the program’s all-time leader in rebounds with 1,042.
At the 10:07 mark of the first half against Anna Maria, Askew recorded his fourth rebound of the game and the 1,037th of his career to surpass the previous Albertus Magnus men’s basketball rebounding record of 1,036 held by Jason Crockett ’98.
Askew, who broke the GNAC record on Tuesday, Jan. 10, is only the second player in league history to earn over 1,000 rebounds. In the Falcons win at Rivier, he surpassed the league’s previous rebounding record of 1,001 held by the Raiders’ Jeff Carpenter.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Yale squash relishes win over Trinity

Yale men’s squash coach Dave Talbott said his team’s monumental win over Trinity on Wednesday was just as big for the sport as it was for his team.
The Bulldogs beat the nation’s top-ranked Bantams 5-4, ending the longest active win streak in intercollegiate varsity sports. Trinity, the 13-time defending national champion, had won 252 straight matches before falling at Brady Squash Center.
“It’s been really cool for the kids, but it’s great for the sport,” Talbott said. “All the coverage has been really exciting for the kids, but what it does for the sport is even more important.
“It brings attention to a sport that’s never been seen before. Our win has been on CNN and ESPN and in publications like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the New Haven Register. It’s been off the charts.”
Yale captain Ryan Dowd, a senior from Boston who won his match in the contest, has quickly tried to refocus his team for the rest of the season.
Dowd beat Trinity’s Reinhold Hergeth and Yale also got victories from Robert Berner, Hywel Robinson and sophomore Neil Martin. Senior John Roberts closed it out with a dramatic five-set win over Johan Detter.
But now it’s back to reality for the second-ranked Bulldogs, who are 7-0 and don’t play another match at home until Feb. 12 against Harvard. Yale played No. 10 Western Ontario on Friday and will battle powerhouse Rochester, ranked fourth in the country, today in what is expected to be another intense match.
“It’s still crazy,” Dowd said on Friday. “We’re all still getting calls and texts and we know we have a big match (today). We have a big target on our backs for the rest of the season. To beat (Rochester) and then get the No. 1 ranking when they come out on Monday will validate the win.
“We’d been close against Trinity recently and they lost some players, but so did we. We felt that we could compete against them in every individual spot.”
Talbott, who’s been coaching at Yale since 1983 and led the men’s team to national titles and the women’s team to the 2011 crown, said the sport itself is dominated internationally. Continued...
“In the past 10 years I think Trinity has only had one American player,” he said. “Squash is big in Egypt and Pakistan and, of course, there’s great players in England. In America it’s basically a prep school sport for the entitled. Overseas it’s a professional sport.
“The players don’t make as much money as they do in tennis, but they make a good living at it.”
The Bulldogs have a 14-player roster consisting of two state players and eight international students.
“We lost some depth from last year’s team and Trinity had also lost some top players,” Talbott said. “But Trinity also brought in three new players in January, so there was some unknown aspects about their team.”
The players themselves are squash junkies and, after this weekend’s matches, they plan on heading to New York’s Grand Central Station to watch the Tournament of Champions — a world-class event which will be played on portable four-glass wall courts set up right in the station’s depot.
While much of the sport is unique, the intensity is sometimes ferocious. After Trinity beat Yale 5-4 last season in the CSA Team National Championships, a Bantam player screamed right in the face of Yale player following the match’s final point. Dowd said that was tough to swallow.
The Bulldogs got the last word on Wednesday.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Quinnipiac falls to Sacred Heart

FAIRFIELD — Mired in a dismal stretch the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team always felt it could count on one thing: rebounding.
Though second in the nation in that category, it was their rebounding that failed the Bobcats down the stretch as Sacred Heart pulled out a 78-75 victory in a crucial Northeast Conference game at the Pitt Center Thursday night.

The win capped a season sweep of the Bobcats for the Pioneers, who got a career-high 28 points from Louis Montes and 23 from Shane Gibson, 18 of which came in the second half.
Quinnipiac has lost four of its last five games and fell to 9-9 overall and 2-5 in the NEC, a precarious spot as only the top eight teams in the conference qualify for the postseason tournament. The Bobcats are surprisingly in a three-way tie for eighth place.
“It’s hard losing,” Quinnipiac coach Tom Moore said. “I can’t measure the team’s doubt. We had murderous practices and they responded well. It just came down to our second-half defense.
“This group has wins at Vermont, at Boston University and at Robert Morris. There’s great potential there, but it’s infuriating when we look like a young team.”
Dave Johnson led Quinnipiac with 18 points and James Johnson. But James Johnson missed a designed 3-pointer that would have tied the game with 21 seconds left. He finished 2 for 10 from 3-point range in the game and the Bobcats went 4 for 19 behind the arc.
But offense aside, Moore was more concerned with his team’s defense in the second half when Sacred Heart shot 58 percent from the field.
“They made huge plays down the stretch,” Moore said. “But the tale of our NEC play is our defense. We’re not guarding long enough in games and we’re not guarding long enough in possessions.
“We try to play 28 seconds of hard defense and then we stop guarding.”
Quinnipiac led by as much as eight in the first half before Sacred Heart took a six-point lead in the second half. The game was nip-and-tuck the rest of the way.
Montes gave Sacred Heart a 74-71 lead with 2:08 to play. James Johnson cut it to 74-73 with two free throws with 1:39 left. But that’s when their rebounding failed the Bobcats.
Twice Sacred Heart missed shots but both times the Pioneers got the rebound, chewing up valuable time. After the second miss the Bobcats fouled Montes with 31 seconds left and he buried both free throws.
“That’s the best shellacking in rebounding we’ve ever had,” Sacred Heart coach Dave Bike said. “They beat us by 11 but if we didn’t come up with four or five of those rebounds it would have been a different game.
“It started with Stan Dulaire’s rebound and then Nick Greenbacker got one and Phil Gaetano got involved in another one and they all were big. We respect their rebounding but we were able to come up with a couple of big ones.
“If Dulaire doesn’t get that rebound I think the whole game could turn around.”
Gaetano, a freshman from Wallingford, finished with seven points and had a big 3-pointer in the second half for Sacred Heart.
Quinnipiac hit 8 of its first 11 shots but only finished at 40 percent from the floor in the game and once again free throws were a problem. It went 13 for 20 from the line.
Ike Azotam finished with 15 points and eight rebounds for the Bobcats, who got the services of forward Jamee Jackson back. Jackson finished with nine points and eight rebounds after missing seven games with a foot injury.

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Quinnipiac men play at Sacred Heart Thursday

Quinnipiac at Sacred Heart
♦When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
♦Where: Pitt Center, Fairfield
♦Records: Quinnipiac 9-8 (2-4 Northeast); Sacred Heart 8-11 (2-4)
♦Radio: WQUN-1220

♦Scouting Sacred Heart: The Pioneers snapped a five-game losing streak to the Bobcats with a 68-55 win at Hamden earlier in the season. In that game, Shane Gibson led the way with 21 points. SHU beat St. Francis (Pa.) last week but lost to Robert Morris, both three-point decisions. The Pioneers got 55 points in the two games from Gibson, who leads the NEC in scoring at 20.3 ppg.
♦Scouting Quinnipiac: The Bobcats are desperate for a win after losing two of their last three games. Their one win in the stretch came against league power Robert Morris, but they have been wildly inconsistent. While Quinnipiac continues to be among the best rebounding teams in the country, it was outrebounded 74-71 by St. Francis (Pa.) last game.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wallingford's Gaetano making his mark at Sacred Heart

Phil Gaetano keeps proving the naysayers wrong.
Said to be too small and too slow to play Division I basketball, Gaetano not only landed a D-I scholarship, but the 5-foot-10 freshman is already starting for Sacred Heart.
The Pioneers host Quinnipiac in a crucial Northeast Conference matchup tonight at 7 at the Pitt Center in Fairfield. Both teams are 2-4 in the NEC standings, tied for eighth place. The top eight teams in the conference earn a berth in the postseason tournament.
“I’ve heard it all along that I was too small and I wasn’t athletic enough,” Gaetano said. “But you can’t listen to it. I always had confidence in myself and I knew that I had to prove what I could do.”
Gaetano, from Wallingford, has started the past four games since sophomore guard Evan Kelley injured his ankle. He has quickly adapted to the college game and played 38 minutes for the Pioneers in Saturday’s 70-67 loss at Robert Morris.
The son of Sheehan boys’ basketball coach Joe Gaetano played four years at Sheehan before spending a prep season at Choate. At Sheehan he averaged 16 points and 11 assists to help the Titans win the 2010 Class M State title.
Then at Choate, an important year for his development on the court, he teamed with fellow Wallingford native John Papale to lead the Wild Boars to a 21-3 record and the school’s first New England Prep School Athletic Conference Class A championship.
Choate beat Salisbury in the final, a team which featured current Quinnipiac freshman Zaid Hearst.
Papale signed with Boston University in November. Gaetano had signed with the Pioneers the summer before he headed to Choate.
“All I ever wanted was to get a scholarship,” Gaetano said. “In my senior year at Sheehan I got a lot of Division III offers and then I started to get some Division II ones. Continued...
“For me it was never really about playing Division I over Division II. I would have gone to a good Division II program.”
But playing at Sacred Heart has been a dream come true for the basketball junkie. He got a chance to play at Notre Dame a month ago and then at Boston College.
“I wouldn’t say I was in awe playing there, but it was really cool,” Gaetano said. “It was something just to go into the arena — places you always watched on TV — and look around, but once the game starts you don’t even think about it.”
Since then things have progressed quickly. But on the court Gaetano said the biggest key for his success has actually been how the game has seemed to slow down. Averaging 4.1 points and 4.3 assists a game while committing just 44 turnovers on the season, Gaetano can calmly beat opponents’ pressure defense and set up the Pioneers’ offense.
And the offense revolves around high-scoring junior guard Shane Gibson, who leads the NEC with a 20.3 scoring average.
“I have the green light to shoot, but I’m looking to make the right play,” Gaetano said. “If I’m open and (Gibson) is open, I’m giving it to him.
“He’s one of the best tough-shot makers I’ve ever seen. Even with the defense all over him he can still score.”

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quinnipiac quintet granted accelerated rehab

By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor
In a season of turmoil the Quinnipiac men's basketball team got a minor victory on Tuesday afternoon.
Off the basketball court and back in Meriden Superior Court, all five Quinnipiac players involved in a Sept. 18 on-campus assault were granted accelerated rehabilition by Judge Philip Scarpellino.
The five players, who appeared in court on Tuesday will also have to perform community service. If the players complete their orders sufficiently their cases will be dismissed.
Scarpellino sentenced senior guard James Johnson and junior forward Jamee Jackson to two years of the accelerated rehabilitation program. They will also have to serve 200 hours of community service and are responsible for sharing the medical costs of the victims' expenses.
Three other players involved in the case were also granted acclerated rehabilitation.
Junior guard Dave Johnson and sophomore forward Ike Azotam were given one-year programs and will have to complete 50 hours of community service. Freshman Nate Gause was dealt an 18-month accelarated rehabilitation sentence and will have perform 100 hours of community service.
James Johnson and Azotam were originally charged in the case anad taken into custody a day after the assault took place. As the investigation continued Gause, Jackson and Dave Johnson were also identfied and they turned themselves into Hamden police on Dec. 1 and confessed to the crime.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Quinnipiac women win at Robert Morris

Another big win for the Quinnipiac women's basketball team.
Coach Tricia Fabbri has this team playing well real and they will be a threat to win the NEC tournament.
Here's the details from the Quinnipiac web site:

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Junior Felicia Barron (Springfield, Mass.) and freshman Jasmine Martin (Sicklerville, N.J.) registered career-highs as the Quinnipiac University women’s basketball team defeated Robert Morris, 82-74, in a Northeast Conference match-up at the Sewall Center on Monday night. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 12-5 overall and 4-2 in league action, while the Colonials drop to 9-8 on the year and 3-3 in conference play.
Barron scored a game-high 26 points, while Martin tallied 22 points in the outing. Sophomores Camryn Warner (Keene, N.H.) and Brittany McQuain (Independence, Mo.) each posted double-figures as Warner matched a career-high 13 points and McQuain scored 10 points. McQuain also led the Bobcats with a team-high nine rebounds.
The Bobcats finished with over 80 points for the second consecutive contest. QU outscored RMU from the floor (37.1-to-36.1), but both teams shot 80 percent from the free-throw line and 28.6 percent from three-point range. Each squad also pulled down 49 rebounds.
Both clubs battled throughout the entire game, but the Bobcats managed to lead by as many as 10 points on the night. Quinnipiac’s bench put together over one-fourth of the team’s total points with 26 points overall.
After the Bobcats went on a 9-8 run to open the first half, Spanou finished one of two free throws to tie the game at nine points apiece with just over 15 minutes to play. QU then scored four straight points from the charity stripe before Robert Morris would go on an 8-0 run to take a 17-13 lead midway through the period.
Each team continued to fight, but RMU would increase its lead by six points, 23-7, its largest advantage of the first half with 6:38 on the clock. Quinnipiac fought to take back the lead as Martin scored from inside the paint to put the Bobcats ahead, 30-28, at the two-minute mark. Martin would send Quinnipiac to the locker room in front of Robert Morris, 37-36, after hitting a three-pointer in the final seconds of the frame.
Barron led the Bobcats with 10 points in the first twenty minutes. In addition, QU outscored RMU inside the paint, 18-to-10, and converted nine points off turnovers.
The Colonials started the second stanza on a 15-8 run, but the Bobcats seized control of the game as they compiled 15 consecutive points to capture a 60-51 lead over RMU with nine minutes remaining. Martin created a spark for the Bobcats on the 15-0 run as she tallied eight points, including two three-pointers.
Robert Morris attempted to narrow the gap as it came within four points of Quinnipiac, 66-62, with just over three minutes left to play. However, Barron completed back-to-back free throws before finishing a shot from behind the arc to extend the Bobcats’ lead, 71-62, at 2:20.
Quinnipiac managed to stay ahead of Robert Morris for the remainder of the night as it compiled nine points from the free-throw line in the final two minutes. More specifically, Barron finished six of the Bobcats’ nine free throws.
The Colonials saw two players with double-doubles, including Mary Durojaye who collected a career-high 25 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
The Bobcats return to action when they travel to play a pair of Northeast Conference games against Bryant on Saturday, Jan. 21 and Sacred Heart on Monday, Jan. 23.

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Sagarin ratings

I will go through a list of RPI ratings and Sagarin ratings for the NEC and the Ivy League a bit later.

But a quick look has Harvard in at 44 in the Sagarin and Yale 144th. Quinnipiac is 202nd.

It's a long way to go but right now the computer and rating systems say that the Bulldogs have a long way to go to be able to beat the Crimson.

And that was a devastating loss for Quinnipiac the other day. I know coach Moore probably figured he'd lose to Robert Morris but beat St. Francis (Pa.) and just the reverse happened.
The Bobcats have lost to both St. Francis schools this year and those are usually chalked up in the win column. It looks like they really need Jamee Jackson back and soon.
They've got Sacred Heart coming up on Thursday and that will be a war, another one that the Bobcats usually win but they've already lost to SHU this year and that was at Hamden.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

St. Francis (Pa.) deals Quinnipiac men critical loss

Just when you thought the Bobcats were on the right track they lost to another St. Francis team. After losing to St. Francis (N.Y.) last week, on Saturday it was St. Francis (Pa.).
Those are two teams the Bobcats have dominated in recent years.
Here are the game details from the Quinnipiac web site:

LORETTO, Pa. – Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) finished with a game-high 28 points on Saturday afternoon, but the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team fell short on the road to Saint Francis (Pa.), 74-71, at DeGol Arena. With the loss, the Bobcats descend to 9-8 overall and 2-4 in the Northeast Conference. SFU improves to 4-15, 3-3 in the league.
Azotam went 13-of-18 from the floor, grabbed four rebounds and snatched two steals for the Bobcats. Dave Johnson (Jackson, N.J.) poured in 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting to go along with a game-high seven assists and a team-high 6 rebounds. James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) scratched out eight points and remains three shy of 1,500 for his career. Justin Harris (Paterson, N.J.) finished with six points and five rebounds and Zaid Hearst (Bethesda, Md.) added five.
The first half featured quick start for the visiting Bobcats, followed by a strong finish for the hosting Red Flash. James Johnson granted QU a seven-point edge, 24-17, after a three-point field goal at the 9:10 mark. However, the lead was short-lived as SFU battled back before the halftime whistle sounded. SFU boasted a 21-13 run to close out the opening frame, leaving the Red Flash in front by one at the break.
The first half was very well-played. The two teams combined for just 11 turnovers and scored at a strong clip. The Bobcats finished 13-of-28 (46.4 percent) while the Red Flash went 15-of-30 (50 percent) from the floor. Azotam tossed in 12 points to lead the Bobcats and Kameron Ritter led SFU with 14 points.
Saint Francis came out of the locker room and quickly added to their halftime advantage. The Red Flash extended the margin to seven points with 15 minutes left and managed to maintain the two-possession lead for much of the second half.
QU wouldn’t go away though and battled through the final whistle. Dave Johnson cut the deficit to just one with a free-throw inside of four minutes, but Anthony Ervin had an answer on the other end. Ervin knocked down a trey from the corner, pushing the SFU lead back up to four points.
Quinnipiac clawed its way back to a three-point game and then forced a turnover with four seconds left. Unfortunately, the Bobcats were unable to get the shot off and the clock expired. SFU snapped a six-game skid with the triumph.
For the game, SFU outshot QU, 52.8 percent to 46.6 percent, from the floor, 50 percent to 27.3 percent, from long range and controlled the boards, 30-29. The Bobcats turned nine offensive rebounds into nine second-chance points.
Ritter continued to score the basketball in the second half as well, totaling 24 points for the contest. SFU heads to New Jersey next week for two games against Monmouth and Fairleigh Dickinson.

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Yale escapes with win over Brown

By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor
NEW HAVEN – The sigh of relief could be heard all the way to the campus of Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.

Yale, down by as many as 11 points and trailing virtually the entire game, finished the game on a 13-3 run to defeat Brown 68-64 in the Ivy League opener for both teams before a crowd of 1,832 at the Lee Amphitheater Saturday.
Yale, picked second in the preseason league poll, entered the game a 13-point favorite and after posting a 10-4 pre-league record, its best since 1991, its title aspirations were high.
A loss to Brown was frankly unacceptable if the Bulldogs had any chance of taking the Ivy League title from heavyweights such as Harvard..
“They’re all big wins,” Yale coach James Jones said. “You don’t ever want to lose a league game especially at home. You don’t want to start off 0-1. I thought our kids did a really good job of keeping their composure but I can’t tell you that I felt like we were going to pull this one out the whole time because I didn’t.
Austin Morgan led Yale with 18 points seven in the decisive run. Greg Mangano had a quiet 15 points and just four rebounds, well below his league-leading average of 10.7.
And Reggie Willhite finished with 12 points and three steals, two of which changed the game.
“It took the last five minutes of the game to ratchet things up a little bit, especially on the defensive end and make some plays give ourselves the opportunity to win,” Jones said.
Trailing 61-58 with 1:35 to play, Willhite picked the pocket of Brown star Sean McGonahill and turned it into a thunderous dunk. On the very next trip down the court Willhite did it again.
After the second steal Yale took a timeout and then Willhite buried a jumpshot with 59 seconds to play to give Yale its first lead, 62-61, since it led 7-3 in the game’s first minutes.
McGonagill finished with a game-high 23 points but couldn’t beat Willhite when the game was on the line. Regarded as the league’s best defender, Jones never opted to have Willhite defend the high-scoring Brown guard until the game’s final minutes.
“(Entering the game) we didn’t feel we needed to,” Jones said. “We thought our trio of guards would give him enough trouble. But you have to give McGonagill credit. He had a great game. He made a lot of tough shots and I don’t know if he’s going to make those shots night after night.
“Not taking anything away from Reggie but McGonagill played 40 minutes and he may not make those steals if he wasn’t that tired.”
Said Willhite: “Even before I switched on McGonagill they had been stalling. They were playing not to lose, not necessarily to win. I knew I didn’t have many fouls and I knew we weren’t going to get many more possessions so I went for it and it worked out.
“I ended up getting a couple of steals and we got the win.”
.After Willhite’s jumper Brown had a chance to regain the lead but Matt Sullivan (16 points) missed a wide open 3-pointer in the corner.
Yale got the rebound and Michael Grace hit two free throws and later Morgan sank four more free throws to ice it.
“You’d have to be crazy not to (breathe a sigh of relief) after this one,” Willhite said. “We’re happy this one is behind us. We have to keep our destiny in our own hands and we lose the ones that we have the advantage in.”
Brown got just the start it needed. Entering the contest on a four-game losing streak the Bears fell behind 7-3 but got a boost of confidence scoring the next 10 points as Yale went ice cold from the floor and appeared a bit rattled.
Brown knocked down six 3-pointers in the first nine minutes of the game, three from Stephen Albrecht and it finished with nine trifectas (9-for-15) in the first half to take a 38-31 lead into intermission.
It could have been worse for the Bulldogs but McGonagill, who had 16 points at the break was fouled two separate times on 3-point attempts but the 78 percent free throw shooter only made one of six attempts.
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Friday, January 13, 2012

Yale women knock off Brown

The Yale women's basketball team opened the Ivy League season with a win over Brown on the road.
The Bulldogs rallied in the second half led by Amanda Tyson.
Here are the game details from the Yale web site. Remember the men host Brown Saturday at 2 p.m.:

The Yale University women’s basketball team entered Ivy League play with an 0-5 record when trailing at halftime. On Friday in the Ivy League opener at Brown, the Bulldogs needed help from an unexpected source to turn things around in a second-half rally that secured the road victory.
Sophomore guard Amanda Tyson came off the bench to record 10 of her 12 points and seven of her game-high eight rebounds in the second half to help lift Yale to a 75-65 win over Brown at the Pizzitola Sports Center Friday night.
Tyson’s eight rebounds included seven on the offensive glass. The 12 points, eight rebounds and seven offensive rebounds are all new career-high marks for Tyson. She also set new career-high marks in field goals made (4), free throws made (4) and free throws attempted (5).
Junior guard Megan Vasquez scored a game-high 23 points to lead the Bulldogs (9-6, 1-0 Ivy League), who improve to 4-0 in 2012. It was the fifth 20-point outing of the season for Vasquez, who scored 20 or more points five times previously in her Yale career, all coming last season.
In her first game following her recognition as the Ivy League’s Rookie of the Week, freshman guard Sarah Halejian scored a career-high 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting, 6-of-6 from the free-throw line, to go with three steals.
Sheila Dixon scored 20 points to lead Brown (9-5, 0-1 Ivy League), which saw its six-game winning streak snapped.
The two teams will return to the court on Friday, Jan. 20, when Brown visits Yale at John J. Lee Amphitheater at 7 p.m.

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Yale kicks off Ivy season vs. Brown Saturday

NEW HAVEN — Things got so bad on the injury front recently that the Brown men’s basketball team plucked a couple of bodies from the football tewam to join the squad.
Against the imposing Yale (10-4) frontline they’ll probably need them.
Yale, led by sizzling center Greg Mangano, opens Ivy League play against the Bears Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Lee Amphitheater. The Bulldogs have won the past three games in the series.
Mangano is coming off a monstrous, 35-point, 22-rebound, performance against undermanned St. Joseph College (L.I.) last game. But don’t let the DIII stats skewer what the senior from Orange has done this year. Mangano is already a three-time Ivy League Player of the Week choice averaging 19.9 ppg and 10.7 rebounds. He scored 26 points and grabbed 15 rebounds against then 10th ranked Florida a week ago and had 20 and 11 against Wake Forest.
Brown coach Jesse Agel knows his team will have its hand full guarding the 6-10 post from Notre Dame-West Haven.
"We don’t have one guy who can go out and get us 22 rebounds," Agel said. "As a group we have to do a better job of rebounding and that will be a key component of whether we can be successful.
"We’ll have to work as a unit to stop him. But last week we were down to seven players and now we’re back to 10 players, all the sickness is over and it’s just down to injuries, so we’re excited about that."
While Brown is just 5-11, the Bears do have a pair of impressive wins on the docket this season. They beat Rhode Island for the first time since 2001 and also beat a strong Central Connecticut State team in early December. Both of those wins came at home and the Bears are still searching for their first road win of the season.
Brown features exciting sophomore guard Sean McGonagill. Also a bit hampered recently buy injuries, McGonagill set Brown’s Pizzitola Center mark for points (39) and field goals in a game (15) in a game against Columbia last season. The outing was even more outstanding considering that McGonagill had facial surgery two days prior and was wearing a protective mask.
"They’ve changed some things recently that they had been doing," Yale coach James Jones said. "McGonagill is still the main cog. He makes them go. Andrew McCarthy has done a real nice job of making perimeter jumpshots and he’s been really active. Those are the main two guys."
McGonagill’s offensive prowess may force Yale to defend him with its phenom stopper Reggie Willhite on Saturday. Willhite has a knack for not only shutting down the oppositions best scorers but virtually eliminating them. This year Willhite has also taking up much more of the offensive slack scoring 12.6 points a game.
And guard Austin Morgan continues to possess the outside stroke scoring 13.0 points and leading the team with 36 3-pointers.
Yale, picked second in the preseason Ivy League poll surely knows how important every league is on the slate and will need focus in Brown which it plays two straight games before Yale hosts Harvard in a titanic clash on Jan. 27
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Quinnipiac visits St. Francis (Pa.) Saturday

Here's Saturday's capsule preview:

Quinnipiac at St. Francis (Pa.)
Today, 4 p.m.

Where: DeGol Arena, Loretto, Pa.

Records: Quinnipiac (9-7, 2-3 Northeast), St. Francis (3-13, 2-3)

Radio: WQUN-1220 AM
Scouting Quinnipiac:
The Bobcats just pulled off their biggest win of the season on Thursday winning at Robert Morris 78-76. Now they get a chance to get back to the .500 mark in the conference. Dave Johnson had his best game of the season against the Colonials with 18 points including 8-for-8 from the free throw line, a spot that has hurt Quinnipiac badly this season. James Johnson led the team with 22 points. This is the second of four straight road games for the Quinnipiac in a crucial stretch.
Scouting St. Francis (Pa.):
The Red Flash has lost six straight and never seemed to recover after the loss of star Umar Shannon early in the season. A tough defensive team, St. Francis has struggled to score all season and are led by 6-8 forward Scott Eatherton. Quinnipiac beat the Red Flash last season after opening up the game on a 22-0 run and cruised the rest of the way. The Red Flash are coming off a three-point loss to Sacred Heart which snapped its three-game home winning streak.
Projected Starters

St. Francis
Player, Ht., Year, Pos., Avg
Kameron Ritter, 6-3, So., F, 3.4
Jon Taylor, 6-6, Sr., F, 6.1
Scott Eatherton, 6-8, So., F, 14.0
Stephen Whyatt, 6-1, Fr., G, 7.4,
Anthony Ervin, 6-4, Jr., G, 11.0,

Ousmane Drame, 6-9, Fr. , F, 5.6
Zaid Hearst, 6-0, Fr.G, 6.2
James Johnson, 6-0, Sr., G, 18.1
Dave Johnson, 5-10, Jr., G, 7.5
Ike Azotam , 6-7, So., F, 15.3

Off the bench

St. Francis: Ollie Jackson, 6-4, Fr., G, 5.9 ppg, Tony Peters, 6-8, Jr., F, 2.5, Quinnipiac: Garvey Young, 6-5, Jr., F, 5.4, Evan Conti, 6-3, Fr., G, 1.3.
 Bill Cloutier

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quinnipiac post crucial win at Robert Morris

Talk about crucial wins, the Quinnipiac men's basketball team won at Robert Morris 78-76 on Thursday night.
This was the first of four straight road games for the Bobcats who entered the game 1- in the NEC.
Never count out Tom Moore's ability to get these guys to play hard and believe in themselves and hats off to Dave Johnson for what was his best game of the season.
Here are the game details from the Quinnipiac web site:

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.), Dave Johnson (Jackson, N.J.) and Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) led a potent attack on Thursday night, as the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team overcame a halftime deficit to defeat Robert Morris, 78-76, at the Charles L. Sewall Center. Trailing by eight points at the break, the Bobcats connected on 66.7 percent of their second-half field goal attempts to complete the comeback bid.
With the win, QU improves to 9-7 on the season and 2-3 in the Northeast Conference. The triumph marks the 10th win all-time against the Colonials, who fall to 12-6, 3-2 in the league.
James Johnson led all scorers with 22 points, as the senior guard went 7-of-12 from the floor, dished out four assists and grabbed three rebounds. Dave Johnson, in his strongest performance to date, added a season-high 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting. He pulled down six boards and handed out five dimes in 33 minutes on the hardwood. Azotam finished with 17 points and six rebounds, even with his minutes limited due to foul trouble in the first half.
QU's offense really started to click early on in the second half. The Bobcats boasted a 16-6 run over the first seven minutes of play and captured a two-point lead, 43-41, after an Azotam layup underneath. From that point on, the Bobcats gradually began to take control of the game. James Johnson's three-point field goal at the 4:52 mark pushed their advantage to eight points, the largest of the game at the time.
The teams exchanged baskets for the next two minutes, when RMU decided to make Quinnipiac beat them from the free-throw line. Led by Dave Johnson, who finished 8-of-8 from the line, the Bobcats made 12-of-16 from the charity stripe down the stretch.
The Colonials chipped away at their deficit via the three-point line and efficient free-throw shooting, but Evan Conti (Bayside, N.Y.) delivered the final dagger with less than 20 seconds showing on the clock. His two free-throws gave QU a six-point advantage, a lead that the visiting Bobcats would not relinquish.
For the game, Quinnipiac outshot RMU, 58.5 percent to 42.6 percent, from the floor and 70 percent to 33.3 percent, from behind the arc. The Bobcats pulled down 28 rebounds, three more than the Colonials, and collected two more steals as well (6-4). Entering the showdown, RMU ranked first in the conference in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense.
Conti played a key role off the bench in the triumph. He scored a career-high seven points to go along with two rebounds and two assists. Zaid Hearst (Bethesda, Md.) added a pair of threes for six points, Ousmane Drame (Boston, Mass.) and Garvey Young (Washington, D.C.) chimed in with three apiece and Alex Jackson (Baltimore, Md.) had two.
In the first half of play, neither team was able to gain a significant advantage until the clock crept inside the five-minute mark. The Colonials then put together an 11-2 run over the final 4:25 of the frame, leaving a 35-27 lead at the break for the home team.
Jones scratched out 22 points for the Colonials despite a 5-of-17 shooting performance. Dave Johnson and James Johnson held the junior guard in check all night.
QU will wrap up its two-game set in Pennsylvania on Saturday, January 14 in Loretto, Pa. The Bobcats are scheduled to face Saint Francis in the backend of a double-header. The Quinnipiac women's team will take on the Red Flash at 1 p.m., follow by the men's game at 4 p.m.

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Yale women open Ivy League vs. Brown Friday

By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor
Yale coach Chris Gobrecht intentionally schedules a grueling non-league slate to get her team ready when the Ivy League season starts. The problem this year is that practically nothing could prepare her team for this season’s cheduling quirks.
Yale opens up Ivy League play tonight at Brown, at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs then host the Bears next week before playing the next four league games back on the road.
“There’s no question I’m concerned about it,” Gobrecht said. “I’m on the women’s basketball Division I advisory committee and I try to get people to understand how tough you have to be to compete in the Ivy League. We play back-to-back games. We have road trips that it seems like you’re on buses endlessly.
“So doing five out of your first six on the road we just have to be really tough. We can’t have excuses. We can’t be babies about it we’ve just got to buckle down and get it done. The good thing about is we get to be home at the end but what’s hard when you open up with so many on the road you don’t want to be out of it before you’ve got into well into the league.”
Yale went 10-4 in the Ivy League last year finishing second place behind powerhouse Princeton which is not only the favorite to repeat their league title for the third straight season but is also teetering on the brink of national prominence. The Tigers are 27-1 in Ivy League play over the past two seasons and Gobrecht thinks they could be even better this year.
But Gobrecht, whose team enters league play 8-6, has done her best to get her team ready for the ensuing onslaught. She’s traveled to Delaware, Florida State and top-ranked Baylor this year.
“Everytime you arrange your preseason you try to get some games you’re pretty sure you’re going to win,” she said. “Then you put in those games that you’re likely to lose and then have a good percentage of 50-50 games. When you go through it you would like to win the games you’re supposed to win and win more than your share of the 50-50 games and then get some upsets.
“The only thing we didn’t do was get the upsets. We won our share of the other games but those upsets would have had to have happened at Baylor and at Delaware and at Florida State and that probably wasn’t going to happen.”
But Gobrecht said she feels that playing elite teams like Baylor at the very least will give her team lasting memories.
“We had a good time and I think the team we’ll always be able to take with them that in 2011 we played the two best players in collegiate women’s basketball in Baylor’s Brittney Griner and Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne and that will be a thrill that they carry with them a long time,” Gobrecht said.
Yale swept Brown (9-4) last season but Gobrecht feels the Bears are improving.
“We had a really tough time with them both times last year and they’re more experienced this year,” she said. “They play great together and they’re deceptive and effective and they’re preseason record proves it.”
The Bulldogs are also battling a few injuries including a concussion to freshman Hayden Latham suffered against Florida State. The injury still irks Gobrecht.
“There was a player at Florida State that took a real cheap shot at her and we’re not happy about it,” Gobrecht said. “She’s been out since that game we’re not sure when we’ll have her back.”
With its second-place finish last season Yale earned a berth in the WNIT, its first national postseason bid.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Casey Dulin leads Marist into Fairfield Thursday

By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor

It was just six games into the Marist women’s basketball season when a potential disaster struck. Kristine Best, the team’s senior starting point guard, tore her anterior cruciate ligament in practice.
The Red Foxes were left in a quandary. They had point guards in waiting but both were freshmen. They also had Casey Dulin, a sophomore combo guard from Milford.
At 4-2 on the season veteran coach Brian Giorgis opted for his true point guards but Marist struggled badly the very next game scoring only 36 points in a 13-point loss at Boston University.
Giorgis, who in 10 years at the school ranks sixth in winning percentage among all active Division I women’s coaches, knew he had to get things settled before conference play began so he turned to Dulin.
The results have been scintillating.
“She’s been a godsend, actually,” Giorgis said of Dulin. “I’m not going to say she absolutely salvaged our season because we had two freshmen to go to but I can’t say enough how well she’s done.”
Dulin, who averaged 3.5 points in under eight minutes a game last year, was thrust right into the fire playing point guard against a St. Bonaventure team that has received votes in the AP Top 25. The Red Foxes lost 67-56 but its offense once again showed life.
And has since taken off.
Marist beat Auburn in its next game before dropping narrow decisions to Hofstra and national power Kansas State. Once conference play began Giorgis had great reason to be optimistic and with Dulin fueling the offense Marist is 4-0 heading into tonight’s conference game against Fairfield, also 4-0, at the Webster Bank Arena at 7 p.m. The game will be televised by SNY.
“The conference is extremely balanced this year,” Giorgis said. “I don’t usually call a game this early in the season a big game but this is important.”
Dulin has been filling up the stat sheets like she did earning All-State honors at Law High. She is averaging 8.3 ppg., and 3.3 rebounds. She is second on the team in assists and steals.
Dulin has always been a solid shooter but has struggled from the perimeter thus far. In fact, if you take away her 3-pointers on the season she is shooting 50 percent from the field but Giorgis doesn’t want her to stop.
“She’s a good shooter and she hit a couple of big 3-pointers the other day,” Giorgis said. “She’s a complete player. I want her to keep shooting and what I really like about her is she doesn’t dwell on the mistakes.
“If she makes a mistake she forgets about right away and keeps playing. She’s aggressive defensively and really knows the game.”
But what Giorgis is most happy with and has affirmed his notion to start her at point guard is how the rest of the team has responded.
“They believe in her,” he said. “And that’s what you want most from a point guard.”
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Quinnipiac visits Robert Morris Thursday


Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Charles L. Sewall Center - Moon Township, Pa.
Records: Quinnipiac (8-7, 1-3 Northeast Conference); Robert Morris (12-5, 3-1)
Radio: WQUN-1220


Scouting Quinnipiac:
The Bobcats hit the road for the first of four straight NEC games away from Hamden and their first opponent is the powerful Colonials who have knocked out Quinnipiac in the NEC tournament each of the past two seasons. Quinnipiac has lost back-to-back games including Saturday’s 79-75 setback against NEC power Long Island. Ike Azotam had his ninth double-double of the season in the game and Quinnipiac pulled down a school record 61 rebounds.
Scouting Robert Morris:
The Colonials were ranked second in the NEC preseason coaches’ poll, and have won five of their last seven games. RMU lost at Central Connecticut this past weekend scoring just 53 points but is 4-0 on the season after a loss and leads the series against Quinnipiac 16-9. The Colonials have not allowed an opponent to score 70 points in their last 11 games going 8-3 in the stretch. RMU is without guard Karon Abraham who was suspended for the entire season by the school.

Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG
Mike McFadden 6-8 So. F 8.1
Lawrence Bridges 6-5 Sr. F 3.9
Russell Johnson 6-6 Jr. F 8.8
Velton Jones 6-0 Jr. G 15.2
Coron Williams 6-2 So. G 11.7
Ike Azotam 6-7 So. F 15.2
James Johnson 6-0 Sr. G 17.8
Dave Johnson 5-10 Jr. G 6.8
Zaid Hearst 6-4 Fr. G 6.2
Ousmane Drame 6-10 Fr. F 5.8

Robert Morris — Anthony Myers, 5-11, So. G, 5.9 ppg., Lijah Thompson, 6-7, Jr., F, 7.5; Lucky Jones, 6-5, Fr. F, 7.1; Quinnipiac — Nate Gause, 6-3, Fr., G, 4.9; Garvey Young, 6-5, Jr., G, 5.6.

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Yale knocks off St. Joseph's (L.I.)

NEW HAVEN — Is it possible to have a double-double by halftime and actually be playing poorly? Those are the lofty standards that Yale’s Greg Mangano has set for himself.
In fact Mangano didn’t think he played that well at all in Sunday’s 101-86 win over St. Joseph’s (Long Island) at the Lee Amphitheater.
But take a step back and appreciate his final numbers, the type of statistics that are reserved for the most elite players.
Mangano finished Sunday’s game with 35 points and 22 rebounds, both career highs. He had also had three blocked shots and grabbed 13 offensive rebounds.

“The guys were doing a good job of getting me the ball, but I had some good opportunities that I missed,” Mangano said. “I was a little more successful in the second half, but I don’t think I played that well.”
Mangano’s performance left Yale coach James Jones a bit speechless. He grabbed the most rebounds for Yale since Chris Dudley pulled down 22 against Harvard in 1987.
“I really don’t know what to say about it,” Jones said. “Offensively he’s as good as you can get. He missed free throws, but I don’t know how much you want him to score. At halftime he had 15 points and 11 rebounds and I was mad at him.”
Take away any of the his contributions and Yale could have been set up for a major embarrassment. The Bulldogs (10-4) raced out to a 29-4 lead in the game’s opening minutes but then got complacent and watched the Golden Eagles close the gap to 46-43 at the half.
“I didn’t think we did a great job of finishing off the first half,” Jones said. “We took the foot off the pedal. They missed some shots early and were a little nervous, but we didn’t do a good job of defending all night.
“They’re a pretty good basketball team. They can shoot. At halftime there was a bit of everything.”
Sure St. Joseph’s is a Division III school, but it’s not just any D-III program. Starting five seniors, the Golden Eagles won 22 games last season and never got rattled when Yale threatened to turn the game into a laugher. It was the first time in the program’s history that it played a Division I school.
“It was kind of fool’s gold in the beginning,” said Mangano, who continually took advantage of his 4-inch height advantage over the St. Joseph’s front-court players. “We knew they could shoot the ball and once they settled in and starting making their shots we found ourselves in a little bit of trouble.
“I think the general consensus in the locker room is that we played pretty poorly.”
In the end, guard Chris Jiminez finished with 22 points and Olivier Laurent added 18. The Golden Eagles, who entered the game averaging 86 points a game, missed their first seven 3-pointers of the game but finished 11 for 27 from behind the arc to make a game of it.
Yale never really put the game away until under four minutes were left to play when they pushed a 10-point lead back up to 17.
“We kept our composure and pulled away at the end,” Jones said.
Will Childs-Klein, who put the Bulldogs over the century mark earlier in the season against Lindon State, did it again with a dunk on Sunday for the final margin.
“We shot 52 percent for the game and scored 101 points and won,” Jones said. “I don’t know how many more points you want to score, but I don’t know the last time we gave up 86 points. We didn’t give up that much to Seton Hall. I wouldn’t suspect that they’re as good as Holy Cross and we didn’t give up 86 to them. It’s disappointing that we didn’t do a good job against them.”
It was the final non-league game of the season for the Bulldogs who open up Ivy League play on Saturday against Brown.
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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Long Island edges Quinnipiac

By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor
HAMDEN — The Quinnipiac men’s basketball team insists it’s not about to panic. But it’s getting late real early for the Bobcats.
Now 1-3 in the conference, the Bobcats (8-7) are about to hit the road for four straight games with its conference hopes squarely on the line.
Quinnipiac dropped its second straight game on Saturday, falling to conference heavyweight Long Island 79-75 in a spirited affair at the TD Bank Sports Center Saturday afternoon. The Bobcats are already three games behind the Blackbirds (10-6, 4-0) in the NEC standings and face an arduous uphill climb.

“There’s no panic,” Quinnipiac’s James Johnson said. “We can’t look too far down the road. This conference comes down to March so we have to keep getting better and take it one game at a time. We still have a lot of confidence. We know we’re good.”

Quinnipiac set its all-time Division I mark for rebounds in a game with 61, but the Bobcats shot just 39 percent and went 2-for-10 from 3-point range, never establishing an offensive rhythm. Ike Azotam led the Bobcats with 17 points and a team-high 11 rebounds and James Johnson added 15 points.
“I’m disappointed with our offense,” Quinnipiac coach Tom Moore said. “We settled for a lot of bad shots, especially in the first half. Today we did one thing well, offensive rebounds (27). But we didn’t create good shots and made a lot of bad decisions with our shot selection. And we missed a lot of foul shots again.”
There was nothing wrong with the Blackbirds’ offense. LIU’s All-NEC duo of Jamal Olasawere and Julian Boyd combined for 42 points and 20 rebounds and lived up to all the preseason hype they’ve received.
“Olasawere was an animal,” LIU coach Jim Ferry said. “And our point guard, Jason Brickman (10 assists), controlled the game.”
Ferry said Quinnipiac still has the talent to make a run, but noted the Bobcats missed junior forward Jamee Jackson, who is out with torn ligaments in his foot. In his stead, Ousmane Drame, a freshman who has played very well at times, had just two points and was little match for LIU’s inside powers.
Said Moore: “Ousmane wasn’t up to the task defensively. Rebounding he was, but Olasawere’s got 80 games of college under his belt and Ousmane has just 13. He wasn’t ready for the speed and aggressiveness with which Olasawere comes at you.
“They’re a terrific team. They can score the ball and they have the best point guard in the league.”
Said Johnson: “Jamee Jackson would have helped, of course, but you can see we were just a couple of baskets away from beating a real good team.”
After Quinnipiac lost 73-72 to St. Francis (N.Y.) on Thursday, Ferry knew the Bobcats would come out with a roar on Saturday. Despite the fact that his team was out-rebounded 61-38, Ferry was happy with his team’s poise.
“All we talked about for two days was the level of intensity of which this game was going to be played at,” Ferry said. “It was going to be playoff intensity because they never get out-rebounded and they got out-rebounded last game.
“They really bullied us. To end the game with 61 rebounds, I’ve never seen that. But we stayed poised and stayed focused. We have a grind-it-out mentality and in the second half we got it going.”
Quinnipiac got an atypical 20 points off its bench, including nine points and eight rebounds from Justin Harris in the first half. The Bobcats pulled down a stunning 42 first-half rebounds. Still, the Bobcats were only tied with the high-flying Blackbirds, who went 27-6 last season to win the NEC title and lost to North Carolina in the NCAA tournament.
Olasawere, a mixture of power and finesse, took over in the early stages of the second half. He scored a game-high 25 points in 25 minutes and never let his early foul trouble hinder his play. He scored nine points in LIU’s 13-8 run to start the second half and give the Blackbirds a 50-45 lead.
LIU never trailed again and eventually built a 13-point lead. Quinnipiac battled back but couldn’t unleash its outside game and never got closer than four points the rest of the way.
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Yale hosts DIII St. Joseph's

Men’s basketball gameday

When: Sunday, 4 p.m.
Where: Lee Amphitheater, New Haven
Records: St. Joseph’s (9-1); Yale (9-4)
Scouting Yale: The Bulldogs play their last game before beginning Ivy League play for the final 14 games of the season. This should serve as a final chance for coach James Jones’ bench players to show they deserve playing time once the league play begins against Brown on Saturday. Greg Mangano continues to lead the Bulldogs and is nearing 1,000 points for his stellar career.
Scouting St. Joseph’s: This the first time the Golden Eagles, a Division III school, have ever played a Division I opponent. They start five seniors and average 85 points a game so expect and end-to-end matchup. They were picked second in the Skyline Conference preseason poll and went 22-7 last season.
Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG
Greg Mangano 6-10 Sr. F 18.7
Reggie Willhite 6-4 Sr. F 12.1
Austin Morgan 5-11 Jr. G 13.3
Jeremiah Kreisberg 6-1 So. F 8.2
Michael Grace 6-0 Jr.. G 6.5
Chris Jiminez 6-0 Sr. G 15.3
Olivier Laurent 6-2 So. G 15.3
Vincent Russo 6-4 Sr. F 7.6
Trey Black 6-2 Sr. G 16.0
Steve Velazquez 6-4 Sr. F 12.1
Yale — Isaiah Salafia, 6-3, So., G, 3.3 ppg.; Brandon Sherrod, 6-6, Fr., F, 3.3; St. Joseph’s — Shahab Syez, 6-6, Sr., C, 9.9; Cody Lohsen, 6-4, So., F, 4.8.
— Bill Cloutier

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Quinnipiac men face LIU in showdown Saturday

Men’s basketball gameday
Long Island at Quinnipiac

When: Today, 2 p.m.
Where: TD Bank Sports Center, Hamden
Records: Long Island (9-6, 3-0 Northeast): Quinnipiac (8-6, 1-2)
Radio: WQUN-1220 AM
Scouting Long Island: The Blackbirds were the overwhelming preseason choice to defend their Northeast Conference title. LIU won at Sacred Heart on Thursday getting 29 points from Jamal Olasawere. LIU has won four straight and seven of its last nine games. Olaswaere is an NEC All-Conference selections along with power forward Julian Boyd, who leads the team in scoring and rebounding with 16.1 points and 9.57 rebounds per game. They lead the NEC in scoring (77.7 points per game) and field goal percentage (46 percent).
Scouting Quinnipiac: The Bobcats have little time to regroup after a heart-breaking loss at St. Francis (N.Y.) on Thursday. Quinnipiac led most of the way but St. Francis guard Stefan Pernuicic converted a three-point play in the final seconds to end the Bobcats’ eight-game winning streak over the Terriers. Quinnipiac is suddenly staring at a sub-.500 mark in the league with the powerful Blackbirds coming into their gym followed by four straight road games. Expect a big effort from coach Tom Moore’s team which was out-rebounded for only the second time this season by the Terriers. James Johnson scored 28 in Thursday’s loss.
Projected Starters
Long Island
Player, Ht., Year, Pos., Avg,
Jamal Olasawere , 6-7, Jr., F, 15.2,
Julian Boyd, 6-7, Jr., F, 16.1,
Jason Brickman, 5-10, So., G, 7.7,
Michael Culpo, 6-1, Sr.G, 10.0,
C.J. Garner, 5-10, Jr., G, 11.3,
Ousmane Drame, 6-9, Fr., F, 6.1
Ike Azotam, 6-7, So., F, 15.1
Dave Johnson, 5-10, Jr., G, 6.9
James Johnson, 6-0, Sr., G, 18.0
Zaid Hearst, 6-4, Fr.., G, 5.9
Off the bench
Long Island: Brandon Thompson, 6-1, Jr., G, 4.1 ppg., Kenny Onyechi, 6-7, Jr., F, 4.8, Garvey Young, 6-5, Jr., F, 5.2, Nate Gause, 6-3, Fr., G, 4.9.
Bill Cloutier

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Tough loss for Quinnipiac

The Quinnipiac men's basketball team dropped a heart-breaker on the road Thursday.
The loss drops the Bobcats to 1-2 in the NEC with power LIU coming into town Saturday.
Here are the game details from the Quinni web site:

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, N.Y. – Senior guard James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) posted a game-high 28 points on Thursday evening, but the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team surrendered a tough loss to Northeast Conference foe St. Francis (N.Y.), 73-72, at the Pope Physical Education Center. Stefan Perunicic’s free-throw capped off a three-point play to put the Terriers in front by one with 5.1 seconds left. The Bobcats couldn’t convert in the waning seconds, granting SFC a big win on its home court.
With the loss, the Bobcats fall to 8-6 overall and 1-2 in the league. St. Francis improves to 5-9, 2-1 in the NEC, and will travel to Sacred Heart on Saturday.
Johnson finished with eight rebounds, four assists and two steals to go along with his season-high point total. Three other Bobcats compiled double-digits; Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) with 12, Ousmane Drame (Boston, Mass.) with 11 and Dave Johnson (Jackson, N.J.) with 10. Garvey Young (Washington, D.C.) added five and Nate Gause (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) and Zaid Hearst (Bethesda, Md.) each tallied three.
The game was very competitive and never saw a lead of more than eight points; an advantage the Bobcats controlled with 3:12 left in the contest. The Terriers answered with an 8-2 run, which cut their deficit to just two points with 56 seconds showing on the clock.
QU came up empty on its ensuing possession, leaving SFC with the ball and 30 seconds to go. After a series of timeouts, Perunicic collected a pass on a backdoor cut, finished the layup and was fouled with 5.1 seconds remaining in the game. Perunicic sank his attempt from the stripe to put the Terriers up, 73-72. Johnson’s 30-footer came up short as the Bobcats’ three-game winning streak came to a close.
For the game, Quinnipiac outshot St. Francis, 44.8 percent to 41.1 percent, from the floor and outscored the Terriers off-the-bench, 16-8. The Terriers finished 72 percent (15-25) of their free-throws to just 60 percent (21-29) of the Bobcats, and controlled the boards, 39-38. It’s just the second game of the season that QU has been outrebounded.
Led by James Johnson, the Bobcats presented an efficient offense for much of the first half. Johnson poured in 17 points as QU boasted an eight point lead, 30-22, with seven minutes remaining in the stanza. However, the hosting Terriers put together a 12-2 run to close out the opening frame, leaving a 34-34 score at the break.
The Bobcats held the Terriers to just 29.4 percent shooting in the first half but surrendered 12 points from the charity stripe. Azotam also chimed in with double-figures with 10 points to go along with four rebounds.
QU returns to action on Saturday, January 7 with its first home game of the New Year. The Bobcats welcome Long Island University, the 2011-12 Preseason Coaches’ Poll favorite, to the TD Bank Sports Center for a 2 p.m. tip-off.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Quinnipiac visits St. Francis (N.Y.) Thursday

Men’s basketball gameday

When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Pope Physical Education Center - Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.
Records: Quinnipiac (8-5, 1-1 Northeast Conference); St. Francis (4-9, 1-1)
Radio: WQUN-1220

Scouting Quinnipiac:
The Bobcats begin the major portion of the NEC slate tonight at St. Francis (N.Y.) a team they’ve dominated in the past few years winning eight straight. Quinnipiac has won six of its last seven games and despite the loss of power forward Jamee Jackson it has played well. Ike Azotam continues to be an offensive and rebounding force and freshman Ousmane Drame has filled in for Jackson well. Ousmane Drame racked up 10 points and 14 rebounds in Quinnipiac’s last game, a win over Boston University.
Scouting St. Francis:
The Terriers have lived and died at the 3-point line this season. After opening the season with nine straight road games, they are 1-3 in their last four games. They’re second in the NEC in 3-pointers made and attempted and boast a solid backcourt in the England’s Ben Mockford and Serbia’s Stefan Perunicic. St. Francis opened the season at Seton Hall losing by just four points. Seton Hall beat UConn by a dozen on Tuesday.
Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG
Stefan Perunicic 6-6 Sr. G 12.1
Ben Mockford 6-2 So. G 12.5
Justin Newton 6-0 Sr. G 1.5
Akeem Johnson 6-6 Jr. F 9.4
Jalen Cannon 6-6 Fr. F 6.8

James Johnson 6-0 Sr. G 17.2
Zaid Hearst 6-4 Fr. G 6.2
Ike Azotam 6-7 So. F 15.3
Ousmane Drame 6-10 Fr. F 5.7
Dave Johnson 5-10 Jr. G 6.7

St. Francis — Travis Nichols, 6-4, Jr., F, 9.7 ppg.; Brent Jones, 5-10, So., G, 4.7; Matt Milk, 6-8, So., F, 1.0. Quinnipiac — Nate Gause, 6-3, Fr., G, 5.0; Garvey Young, 6-5, Jr., G, 5.3.
— Bill Cloutier

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Get your Yale-Harvard tickets soon

NEW HAVEN — Where have you gone, New Haven Coliseum?
According to Jeremy Makins, the head of the Yale University athletics ticket office, there are just 300 tickets remaining for Yale’s men’s game against Harvard on Friday, Jan. 27.
The Lee Amphitheater sold out just once last season and that was for the Ivy League title game between Harvard and Princeton won by the Tigers at the buzzer.
Listing a capacity at 2,532 Yale did not sell out any regular-season games last season but Makins said he expects an advance sellout for what is shaping out to be a crucial, albeit early, Ivy League game.
Yale, picked second in the preseason Ivy League poll, is currently 9-4 after knocking off Holy Cross 82-67 on Tuesday night. The Crimson suffered just their second loss of the season on Tuesday getting upset at Fordham 60-54. Harvard (12-2) is ranked 22nd in the nation and was the preseason choice for the league title.
Makins said that the lower portion of the Lee Amphitheater is reserved for students and will be held for walk up sales only.
“We’ll get word out to the students that they better get there early but we won’t sell them in advance,” Makins said.
Makins also said that most of the sales have been from local fans but did say that Harvard has several bus loads expected for the 7 p.m. tip-off.
There are no plans to move the game against Harvard to another venue. According to Tim Bennett, Yale’s assistant director for sports publicity, the Bulldogs have played two “home” games in the past decade off campus.
In 2002, Yale played an NIT game against Tennessee Tech at the New Haven Coliseum. After the Bulldogs upset Rutgers in the first round Yale officials wanted a bigger venue for the second-round game.
Yale also played Wake Forest in 2003 in Bridgeport. That game was originally slated for the New Haven Coliseum but was changed as the building was closed.
Yale also played UConn at the New Haven Coliseum several times in the 1980s and 1990s. The building was demolished on Jan. 20, 2007.
Remaining tickets can be purchased online by visiting the Yale Athletics web site.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Quinnipiac women fall to St. Joseph's

HAMDEN, Conn. – Freshman Samantha Guastella registered a career-high 16 points and eight rebounds on Tuesday evening, but the Quinnipiac University women's basketball team dropped its final non-conference game to Saint Joseph's University, 71-54, on Lender Court at the TD Bank Sports Center. Both teams moved to 9-4 on the season with the result.
Guastella finished with a team-high five field goals which included two from long range. Jasmine Martin (Sicklerville, N.J.) added nine points and Felicia Barron chimed in with seven. Jacinda Dunbar (Edison, N.J.) recorded six and three others had three.
St. Joseph's raced out to a blistering start in this one, as the visiting Hawks boasted a 16-2 lead through the first seven minutes. The Hawks went 7-of-9 from the floor during that span, opposed the just 1-of-8 from the Bobcats.
The Bobcats return to the hardwood on Saturday, January 7, when the team resumes Northeast Conference play at St. Francis (N.Y.). Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. at the Pope Physical Education Center in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.

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Yale knocks off Holy Cross

By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor
NEW HAVEN – Things probably came too easy for the Yale men’s basketball team on Tuesday.
Returning home after playing national powers Wake Forest and 13th-ranked Florida, the Bulldogs raced out to an early 20-point lead against Holy Cross. Then they put things on cruise control and had to hang on for an 82-67 victory in front of 1,326 anxious fans at the Lee Amphitheater.

Greg Mangano, who scored 26 points in his last outing, a nationally-televised contest against the Gators continued his dominating play. Mangano led all scorers with 27 points for Yale including all seven Bulldog points in a 7-2 run after the Crusaders had cut Yale’s whopping deficit to 63-59 with eight minutes left in the game.
“I wasn’t upset (with their comeback),” Yale coach James Jones said. “I always had a good feeling that we were in control. If it got out of control I might have been a little upset but I think that Holy Cross is a very good basketball team and very good teams make runs.
“If you’re going to be a good team you have to combat them.”
Magano scored on a reverse layup, buried a foul line jumper and then topped the run off with a power drive to the hoop which he converted into a three-point play to give the Bulldogs breathing room. Sam Martin then came off the bench and hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the game out of reach.
“That was definitely a tough game for us,” Holy Cross coach Milan Brown said. “It was great to see us fight back in the second half but we played against a really good team and the caught us early and we ran out of gas but we weren’t going to able to come all the way back.
“You can’t put yourself in a hole that deep against a team as good as they are.”
The Crusaders’ one-two punch of R.J. Evans and Devin Brown led the comeback. Evans, a junior from Salem, Conn., whom the Bulldogs recruited heavily while playing at Norwich Free Academy, led Holy Cross (6-8) with 24 points. He turned two steals of Holy Cross’ six steals in the second half into thunderous dunks.
His sidekick, Holy Cross leading-scorer Devin Brown, chipped in with 22 points on 8-for-15 shooting.
But the Crusaders got little else and they never could stop Mangano.
“Greg’s a very good player and when it’s one-on-one in the post I expect him to score,” Jones said. “He was 11-for-14 from the floor without the 3-pointers he missed.”
Said Milan Brown: “(Mangano’s) really good. He was one of the guys we tried to convey to everybody to give him more resistance and I thought he did a good job of making plays over us when we were there. Once he got going you can’t give a player with that caliber of skills and let him get going.
“Can you imagine Mangano and (Harvard’s) Keith Wright in the same league?”
Mangano also had a game-high 13 rebounds and blocked four more shots to add to his school record total of 178. Against the Crusaders he dominated from the start, registering a quick nine points as Yale led 13-9 in the game’s early stages. The Bulldogs then scored the next 11 points to take a 24-9 lead. It could have been bigger as Yale’s Isaiah Salafia picked off a pass but he flubbed on his attempt at a highlight-reel, 360 dunk.
The Crusaders, however, couldn’t seize the momentum and Yale capped a 22-4 run a pair of free throws by Salafia.
Holy Cross, which saw its two-game winning streak snapped, finally got things going late in the first half led by Evans, who scored eight points in a 15-4 run as the Crusaders got back in the game and trailed 41-28 at the half.
“I don’t think (we were looking past Yale),” Milan Brown said. “We were trying to play aggressive but they got some easy looks early and it got them going. You can’t do that on the road.
“You have to be mentally and physically ready. I told them the only way we were going to get back into it was if we played together and I thought we did that in the second half.”
Yale (9-4) has won the past three games in the series. The Bulldogs outrebounded Holy Cross 44-25 and outscored them 40-22 in the paint.
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Monday, January 2, 2012

Yale ready to host Holy Cross

By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor
NEW HAVEN — Yale coach James Jones is counting down the days until the Ivy League campaign begins. He’s got nine more practices to get the Bulldogs battle-tested.
Tonight is a classic dress rehearsal as Yale hosts Holy Cross (6-7) at the Lee Amphitheater at 7 p.m.

“Holy Cross is a league game,” Jones said. “Holy Cross is like every other team in our league. It’s like any Ivy League team coming in here it just doesn’t have as much on the line.”
The Bulldogs (8-4) will try to snap a two-game skid against the Crusaders. After winning six straight Yale is coming off losses at Wake Forest and No. 10 ranked Florida.
Despite the setbacks it was a big week for Yale’s Greg Mangano. Mangano broke a long-standing school record and averaged 23 points and 13.5 rebounds in games against Wake Forest and Florida. On Monday he was named the Ivy League Player of the Week for the second time this season.
Against Wake Forest, a 72-71 loss, Mangano poured in 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. In addition, he recorded the 173rd block of his career, breaking the Yale record established by Chris Dudley in 1987.
“We knew it was going to be tough going on the road against a good ACC team and an SEC team,” Mangano said. “We kind of let the one at Wake slip away. We got down by 19 in the second half and then we went on a run. If we would have played them a little tighter in the second half we leave there with a win and that would have bee a real good win for our program.”
Yale lost at Florida 90-70 on New Year’s Eve and Mangano’s numbers were even more impressive. He scored 26 points and had 15 rebounds as the Bulldogs stayed with the Gators for much of the game. He was 11-of-18 from the field, including 4-of-6 from three-point range. Fifteen of his points came in the second half.
“I felt good the whole road trip,” Mangano said. “Those 10 days off were not really 10 days off for me. Me and coach were working out the whole time. Those type of games are easy to get up for. Nationally televised, we only get a couple of those a year so its gives us a chance as a team and myself individually to show much we’ve improved.”
Mangano buried shots from all over the court against the Gators drawing praise from players and coach Billy Donovan alike.
“I hope to see Greg play that hard and that well against everybody,” Jones said. “If he can play that well against Florida, obviously you’re not going to shoot the ball that well every night, but you can get 16 rebounds every night.”
A year ago, Jones handed Mangano a copy of Dudley’s stats from his senior year at Yale.
“Dudley got 15 rebounds every night,” Jones said. “If Greg can dominate like he should he should we’ll be much better for it.”
Both Jones and Mangano agree that the non-league portion of the schedule has proven that the Bulldogs can make a run at the Ivy League crown no matter how well teams like Harvard, ranked 22nd in the nation and Princeton, with wins over Florida State and Rutgers, have performed.
“I wouldn’t say we took a step back (losing to Wake Forest and Florida),” Mangano said. “It’s a building block for us. We still feel good and can start a winning streak tomorrow. We know how well Harvard is doing but we still feel like we can match up with them.”
Jones said playing the nation’s best team helps identify his team’s weaknesses as the league schedule approaches.
“Playing against Florida showed we have to work on our transition defense,” he said. “They exploit your weaknesses like you won’t get exploited by anybody else. They’ll show a crack and against those teams it’s a flood.”
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