Poor Shooting Dooms Bulldogs Against Great Danes
ALBANY, N.Y. – Yale couldn't quite overcome a poor shooting night Friday at Albany. DJ Evans scored 14 points to lead three players in double figures as Albany held off the Bulldogs 70-62 before a holiday crowd of 2,108 at SEFCU Arena.
Yale shot just 31.6 percent from the field in the game.
"We did not execute well offensively," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "There were guys open on the weak side, and we didn't find them. We didn't get any shots in rhythm."
Javier Duren had a big game for the Bulldogs, finishing with a career-high 26 points. He was 8-of-15 from the field and 7-of-8 from the foul line. Nick Victor added eight points. Justin Sears, Yale's leading scorer, was held to seven points, nearly 10 below his average. Armani Cotton and Brandon Sherrod both contributed six points, and Isaiah Salafia added a season-high five off the bench.
Albany, which went to the NCAA Tournament last year after winning the America East Conference title, was more efficient. The Great Danes (6-5) shot 49 percent from the field and were 16-of-21 from the foul line.
Yale (5-6) was fortunate to find itself only trailing by three, 25-22, at halftime after shooting just 22.6 percent in the opening 20 minutes.
The Bulldogs were within one early in the second half, but Albany scored 11 straight points to seize control.
Yale pulled to within four on Sherrod's layup with 59 seconds remaining, but Albany made 8-of-10 free throws in the final minute to seal the victory.
"We fought hard," Jones said. "It wasn't from lack of effort. Our execution wasn't where it needed to be."
The Bulldogs were better from the field in the second half, but really struggled from three-point range where they were 1-of-9 over the final 20 minutes and 4-of-19 for the game.
The game was a homecoming for Jones, a 1986 Albany graduate. He saw a number of old friends and had a nice visit with legendary Albany coach Dr. Richard Sauers at the team's hotel on Thursday.
"There will always be a special place in my heart for this place," Jones said. "I have a lot of fond memories."
The Bulldogs are now off until Jan. 4 when they play at Saint Louis.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity