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Veteran Bulldogs Bully Pilots, 88-70

Jan. 2, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale Bulldogs shot 63 percent from the field en route to an 88-70 victory over the Portland Pilots at Lee Amphitheater Wednesday evening. The field goal percentage and points allowed were both season highs for an opponent of Portland, which had its two-game winning streak snapped.

Sophomore forward Robin Smeulders netted a career-high 22 points for the Pilots (5-9), who made their longest road trip in school history in traveling to Yale. Sophomore guard Nik Raivio added 17.

Senior Caleb Holmes led Yale with 15 points, while his twin brother, Nick, added 14. Senior guard Eric Flato contributed 12 and scored the 1,000th point of his career in the first half.

The Bulldogs (4-7), who have played a rigorous non-conference schedule against numerous Top 25 teams, were picked to finish second in the Ivy League this season. The senior-laden Bulldogs came out firing on their home court and finished the game making 53 percent of their three-point attempts (10-19) and also 16 of 22 free throws. They shot a blistering 73 percent from the field in the second period.

"Yale is a team that has really learned a lot from their previous games against very good competition," Portland head coach Eric Reveno said. "We let them get clicking on offense and they shot a high percentage. It is hard to beat good teams when they shoot a high percentage, let alone an experienced team like Yale."

The Bulldogs jumped out early and led by as much as 16 points late in the first period before taking a 40-28 lead. Smeulders kept the Pilots in the game with 12 points in the period.

Portland cut the deficit to 40-31 out of the halftime break, but Yale quickly used a 8-2 run to push the margin back to 15 points.

The lead would grow to as much as 23 points late in the game.

Portland shot a respectable 49 percent from the field for the game, but struggled from the three-point line by making just 7 of 22 attempts. Yale controlled the interior with a 40-32 margin in points in the paint.

"We've got to put tonight's game behind us and prepare for another good team on Saturday," Reveno added.

The Pilots continue their East Coast swing at Army on Saturday with tip-off slated for 10 a.m. (Pacific). The game will not be aired on KBNP 1410 AM, but the audio broadcast is available on the internet at portlandpilots.com.

"We are a work in progress and each night is a learning experience," Reveno noted. "There are a lot of teachable moments from tonight's game to progress from."