January 26, 2013

Depth Shines In Key 76-64 Victory Over Brown

Yale Outscores Bears 18-6 In Overtime To Earn Ivy League Win

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale's depth and balance made all the difference in a key 76-64 overtime victory over Brown on Saturday. The fresher Bulldogs outscored the Bears 18-6 in the extra period to earn a much-needed Ivy League win before a Youth Day crowd of 1,684 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Austin Morgan was the only Bulldog to play more than 35 minutes. Brown, on the other hand, had two of its starters go more than 40 minutes, including Sean McGonagill, who played all 45.

It showed in overtime. Yale was 3-of-4 from the field and a perfect 10-of-10 from the foul line. The Bears, meanwhile, made just 2-of-9 field goals and were 0-for-5 from three-point range.

"That's what I like about our team. We can come at [our opponents] in waves," said Javier Duren, who scored five of his nine points in the extra period. "We can go five-guys deep off the bench, and we really rallied together."

The Bulldogs' bench outscored Brown's reserves 31-9 in the game.

After losing 65-51 at Brown last Saturday, Yale avoided its first 0-2 Ivy League start since 2004-05.

"Our energy was much better than last week, especially on defense," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball.

Freshman Justin Sears paced the balanced attack with 18 points, eight rebounds three steals and two assists. He was credited with only one block but altered a number of other shots. Morgan added 16 points. He was 4-of-6 from three point range and made four free throws in overtime.

In all, 10 Bulldogs played at least 12 minutes. Greg Kelley added nine points, Matt Townsend scored seven and Michael Grace and Jeremiah Kreisberg each contributed five.

Matt Sullivan and Cedric Kuakumensah scored 13 points apiece to pace Brown (7-9, 1-1 Ivy).  Sean McGonagill, who burned the Bulldogs with 20 points in last Saturday's game, was held to nine points. He was 2-of-8 from the field.

"We did a better job of hounding him and making sure every shot he took was a tough shot," Jones said. "He is a very good player."

Yale (7-12, 1-1 Ivy) struggled offensively in the first meeting but was more efficient on Saturday. After having only four assists last week, the Bulldogs notched assists on 20 of their 23 field goals.

"We brought energy, which we lacked last week," Duren said.

It didn't look like Yale was going to need overtime to earn the win. The Bulldogs led 31-21 at halftime and were still up by seven, 48-41, with nine minutes left.

Brown, though, slowly chipped away and finally tied it on Sullivan's three-pointer with 2 minutes left.

Yale then executed a perfect in-bounds to play to grab the lead. With only one second left on the shot clock, Kelley lobbed a pass into the lane to Nick Victor, who quickly guided it into the basket.

Two Tucker Halpern free throws tied the score at 58 with 55 seconds left, and both teams couldn't capitalize on their next possessions. Grace missed a long three-pointer with the shot clock winding down for Yale, and Stephen Albrecht couldn't connect on a three from the wing with four seconds left.

Morgan opened overtime with a three-pointer, and the Bulldogs never relinquished the lead.

The biggest shot, though, came from Duren, whose three-pointer pushed the advantage to six, 68-62 with two minutes left

Yale then made eight straight free throws to seal the victory.

NOTES:  Jones shuffled his starting lineup from recent games. Kelley, Duren and Townsend joined Morgan and Armani Cotton to begin the game… Yale outrebounded the Bears 47-34… The Bulldogs also grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, which led to 15 second-chance points… Yale was 7-of-14 from three-point range… Both coaching staffs wore sneakers to support the Coaches vs. Cancer® program as part of the 10th annual Suits & Sneakers weekend. By wearing sneakers, participating coaches help raise awareness about cancer and the importance that nutrition and physical activity play in reducing one's risk of the disease… The Yale players signed autographs for the many youth groups in attendance following the game… The Bulldogs now play their next four Ivy games on the road, starting next Friday at Harvard.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity