Sears Posts Second Straight Double-Double
HARTFORD, Conn. – Yale dominated the boards Monday, outrebounding 19th-ranked UConn 43-31. It's what the Bulldogs did with the ball once they had it that frustrated James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball.
Yale shot just 31.7 percent from the field, and the end result was an 80-62 loss to the Huskies before a Veteran's Day matinee crowd of 8,848 at the XL Center.
The final score was a bit deceiving as the Bulldogs remained within striking distance for much of the second half, despite the poor shooting.
It wasn't the misses that bothered Jones, but more the type of shots his team took.
"We didn't work the ball enough to be successful," Jones said. "We weren't patient, and we didn't do a good job of finding shooters."
Still, there were a number of positives for Yale. Justin Sears had another strong game, finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds, his second straight double-double. Javier Duren added 15 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes.
Yale did most of its damage on the glass at the offensive end. The Bulldogs had 22 offensive rebounds which led to 21 second-chance points. UConn, on the other hand, managed only four offensive rebounds.
"We gave a good effort chasing the basketball," Jones said.
The game turned during a six-minute stretch midway through the first half, and it was spearheaded by an unlikely source. Neils Giffey, who made only 10 three-pointers all of last season, hit five straight treys to turn a 9-9 tie into a 27-15 UConn advantage.
UConn (2-0) led 39-24 at halftime, but the Bulldogs made a run in the second half, pulling to within 11, 66-55, on two Duren free throws with 4:06 left.
The Huskies, though, scored the next points to seal the win.
Shabazz Napier posted his second career triple-double to pace UConn. He finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Omar Calhoun led all scorers with 18 points, and Giffney had 15, all of which came in the six-minute stretch of the first half.
Still, Jones would like to see better ball movement.
"We weren't moving the ball side-to-side," he said.
The Bulldogs have another big test on Thursday when they play at Rutgers. Tip off is slated for 7:30 p.m.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity