Stanford came into Tuesday night's battle with the Yale Bulldogs having lost both games on their road trip, a 33-point shellacking at the hands of Butler and an 11-point defeat in a much better effort versus Oklahoma State. Wanting to end the 2010 portion of their pre-conference slate with a victory, the Cardinal endured a helter-skelter first half that saw Stanford trail at the half for the first time all year at home and looking like a team with little direction.
Fortunately, Jeremy Green got hot midway through the second stanza before leaving the game with a left ankle injury, and the Cardinal defense held Yale scoreless for over eight minutes, helping the Cardinal to a hard-fought 60-44 win over the Bulldogs. Stanford moves to 7-4 on the season while Yale drops to 5-6.
In the press room after the victory, head coach Johnny Dawkins said it was a "good game by us defensively," a statement supported by looking at the final 14 minutes of play where Yale went 13:39 between field goals. The contest was decided when Green hit two trifectas in an extended 12-0 run over a 7:13 stretch, turning a one-point Yale lead into a 48-37 advantage for the home team with five-and-a-half minutes left in the game.
"We subbed out on defense and had some difficulty identifying Green, who was able to make some shots," said Yale coach James Jones after the contest. "We also had a stretch there in which it was very difficult for us to put the ball into the basket. We got our starters back in, and they didn't pick up the slack…Stanford was who we thought they were, to quote a famous football coach. They're a pretty good defensive team. They struggle a little offensively, and that's what they were tonight."
Green led the way for the Cardinal, tallying 15 points on 6-12 shooting, before exiting the game with 5:15 to go as he "rolled his ankle pretty good" according to Dawkins. However, Dawkins said "I think under different circumstances...he would have gone back in" and was optimistic Green will not miss any action. Josh Owens was the only other player in double figures, scoring 12 points and getting four steals before fouling out with the game in hand. Austin Morgan led the way for Yale with 15 points, 13 of which came in the first half on the strength of three long balls. Jeremiah Kreisberg was next in line for the visitors, getting 11 for the visitors.
Aaron Bright, who scored six points and dished out a team high six assists against just one turnover, has seemingly earned the starting nod the next time the team plays. "I like Aaron there…based on today, he'll start (vs. Cal)," said Dawkins. Owens also praised the freshman afterwards, calling him a "pesky defender" and a player where the "defense has to respect his long range shot."
Stanford shot 46% for the contest, 57% (8/14) from beyond the arc, including 5/8 in the second half, but made just 10 of 22 from the charity stripe, a dismal 46%. Yale concluded the game shooting 32%, including 25% (5/20) in the second half. The Bulldogs made 33% of their three-pointers and shot 88% (14-for-16) at the free throw line. The Cardinal edged Yale on the boards, 30-29, and had 10 assists and 10 turnovers to the Bulldogs' eight assists and 16 miscues.
Both teams looked out of sorts after their holiday layoffs with neither team breaking double-digits until two Morgan free throws put Yale up 10-8 with 10:16 remaining in the first half. Stanford did take a five-point lead after a three-pointer by Bright, but a turnover at the end of the half led to a Bulldogs layup and Bright's heave from just beyond half-court was waved off as Yale took a 27-26 lead into the break.
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