ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

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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