Sears Scores 15 Points To Pace Bulldogs
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Evansville made the plays down the stretch to knock off Yale Friday in the NABC Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. The Purple Aces also had a little bit of good fortune.
Ned Cox banked home a three-pointer with the shot clock winding down as part of a late 7-0 run as Evansville held off the Bulldogs 66-56 before a nervous crowd of 4,112 at the Ford Center.
Justin Sears' layup pulled Yale within three, 59-56, with 3:34 remaining. The Bulldogs turned up the defensive pressure and appeared to have Evansville in trouble before Cox made the back-breaking, long three-pointer.
The Purple Aces (1-2) then scored the final four points to seal the victory.
The loss spoiled a fine performance from Sears, a freshman who paced the Bulldogs with 15 points. He was 7-of-9 from the field and added seven rebounds. Austin Morgan scored 13 points and Brandon Sherrod had seven for Yale (0-3).
DJ Balentine led four Evansville players in double figures with 16 points. Jordan Jahr added 12 points and Ryan Sawvell and Lewis Jones each scored 10.
The game featured six ties and 15 lead changes.
"We played with a lot of energy and effort," Evansville head coach Marty Simmons said. "Yale is a very good, well-coached team."
The Purple Aces led by eight, 46-38 six minutes into the second half, but the Bulldogs stormed back with a 10-0 run, capped by a Sam Martin three-pointer that put Yale ahead.
The teams then traded baskets for the next eight minutes until Balentine's layup gave Evansville a five-point cushion, 59-54. Sears answered with a layup but that would be Yale's last basket of the game.
The Bulldogs committed 19 turnovers, which led to 23 Evansville points.
NOTES: Sophomore Armani Cotton made the first start of his career for the Bulldogs… Yale dominated the glass, outrebounding the Purple Aces 35-22… Evansville's bench outscored the Bulldogs' bench 32-14… The Classic continues on Saturday for Yale, which plays Buffalo at 6 p.m. EST. The Bulls fell to Western Illinois 67-58 on Friday after beating Evansville 56-50 on Thursday.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity