Greg Mangano scored 23 points and Reggie Willhite added 21 as Yale held off Central Connecticut State 73-69 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Central Connecticut State led by seven points in the first half and held a 34-30 advantage at halftime. Yale opened the second half with a 19-9 run to build a 14-point lead with 11:47 remaining after a 3-pointer by Austin Morgan.
The Blue Devils cut the deficit to 67-66 with 1:31 remaining on a layup and free throw by Kyle Vinales, but could not overtake the Bulldogs. Yale made 6 of 10 free throw attempts the rest of the way, including four in a row, to seal the win.
Vinales led the Blue Devils with 24 points and Ken Horton, the Northeast Conference player of the year last season, added 21 points.
The game was part of the three-game Connecticut 6 Classic.