Friday's Best: Yale knocks off Penn

Greg Mangano carried Yale to a big victory over Zack Rosen's Penn Quakers tonight at the John J. Lee Amphitheatre. (Photo Credit:

Quick hitters from Friday night”s games

Best win: Yale. Tonight”s biggest victory has to go to the Yale Bulldogs. Penn had a lot of momentum late in this game, and the Bulldogs could have let it all slip away when they started to get sloppy with the ball in the second half. Yale”s guards turned it around though and Mangano decided that the Elis weren”t losing this one, grabbing two offensive rebounds off missed free throws (one was his own) in the final minute to seal the win. Turnovers continue to trouble this team as Reggie Willhite, Austin Morgan, and Mike Grace combined for 13 giveaways, but besides those lapses in judgement (which need to be corrected soon), the Yale guards were impressive. Morgan hit three critical three pointers under pressure; Willhite showed his typical hustle on both ends, grabbing key rebounds and knocking down a huge late-game jumper; and Mike Grace had his best game of the season. The North Carolina native was 5-6 from the field with four assists, showing a propensity for the bank shot and looking more dangerous than he has all year. Mangano was pissed off at the referees all game, but he stopped whining and took the game into his own hands down the stretch, denying Rosen the chance at a game-tying three by getting those monster rebounds. The big man showed great touch around the rim all day, finishing with 23 points on 8-13 shooting and 10 rebounds. If this was Round One of the Player of the Year battle between Mangano and Rosen, the Bulldog came out on top.

They are who we thought they were: This one

wasn”t as close as the scoreline. Harvard played that classic Crimson defense tonight, grinding away at Cornell, slowly extending their lead and holding their opponents to 6-21 (29%) from long range. The Crimson made a living at the line tonight, going 29-34 (85%) and drawing 27 fouls. All ten players who saw action scored, and it was Laurent Rivard, the Can”t-Miss-Canadian, leading the way with 16 points on 5-9 shooting and 3 steals. Johnathan Gray had 11 on 5-11 for Cornell.

Best clutch performance: Mark Cisco. The Columbia big man nailed a baseline jumper with three seconds on the clock to lift the Lions over Dartmouth in Hanover tonight. Cisco finished with 18 on 7-8 from the field and added 6 rebounds. Just as importantly, he held Dartmouth”s Baltic import, Gabas Maldunas, to 5 points on 1-4 shooting. Columbia improves to 2-3 with the victory and goes into Cambridge with nothing to lose.

Who needs the W tomorrow most: Princeton took care of Part One of its must-win road trip with a dominant 77-63 win over Brown. Tomorrow, they need to go into The Church and do what Penn couldn”t and knock off the Bulldogs. It”s going to come down to Princeton”s defense against the Yale guards. If Yale can limit their turnovers and get some production from Willhite, Morgan, and Grace, Princeton is in trouble. If the Tigers can throw some disruptive, extended defense at the Bulldogs, then Princeton will rattle the Elis and take advantage. On the offensive end, Doug Davis and the Princeton shooters will need to have a good day from the field because Mangano alters too many shots around the rim. Princeton”s balanced attack bodes well for a Yale team that has shown little depth beyond Brandon Sherrod. If Princeton can get the win tomorrow, the Tigers will get Dartmouth at home next Friday, then Harvard coming off a death match at the Palestra. Don”t count them out yet.

4 thoughts on “Friday's Best: Yale knocks off Penn”

  1. Thanks for the recap. Hope the become a regular feature. I assume there will be a “Saturday’s Best” as well?

    A POY & ROY tracker might be a fun feature, too.

    • Yep, going to try to make the Friday’s and Saturday’s Best a consistent feature. Love the POY, ROY tracker idea. We’ll try to get someone on it this week!

  2. My compliments to the Editorial Team on doing nice summaries on all eight games. This fun site is getting better by the week!

    Just the same, is something that happens 30% of the time “rare?” I don’t think so, either. The Dawgs have swept the P’s in New Haven in 4 of Coach Jones’ 13 years at the helm. Sweeps of the P’s on their homecourts? Now’s there’s something “rare!” Yale’s work this past weekend was nonetheless important and impressive.

    Yale has not swept the NY trip in ten years. This could be the year. Both Cornell and Columbia have the ability to put a hurt on the visiting Bulldogs. There is great suspense in both Ithaca and Philly Friday night for the league’s top two teams.

    Hard as it may be to believe, I think SR Rob Belcore has been playing the “4” for the Quakers, rather than guard. He is doing a remarkable job. While Rosen and Bernardini have been getting many of the accolades this year, both would be among the first to say that Rob’s dirty work in the paint has freed them up to put up those gaudy stats. Tied for third in the league in steals, Belcore’s absolutely a first rate defender. You will probably see him hounding both Wright and Casey Friday night. He is also an excellent ballhandler.

    Who would have ever thought that the Lions, who needed a near buzzer beater from Cisco to win in Hanover, would play so well in Cambridge that the Saturday night Ivy refs had to conjure up a parade of red suits to the foul line to bail out the lethargic Crimson?

    • Thanks for the nice words, IBBF.

      It hasn’t happened since ’06-’07, but I suppose “rare” may be pushing it.

      While it’s definitely in play, I’d be a little surprised to see the Bulldogs earn the road sweep this weekend. Pomeroy gives them only a 12.6% chance of winning both road games. I think their chances are better than that, but still…

      Agreed on Belcore. He’s been just great for Penn–a much needed extra weapon on nights when Bernardini and/or Cartwright don’t have it. The Quakers have done a shockingly good job on the defensive boards given how undersized they are and he’s been a big part of that.

      Columbia hasn’t really been blown out by anyone this year (except Marist…huh?). I am very impressed with Kyle Smith. He always has his guys ready to play and makes the right in-game adjustments. The Lions should be very proud of that performance at Lavietes. I’m sure Harvard’s not itching to come to Levien in early March after that one.


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