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No Foolin: Bulldogs Beat VMI 75-62; Will Play At Murray State In CIT Championship Game

Javier Duren (photo courtesy of VMI Athletics)
Javier Duren (photo courtesy of VMI Athletics)

Yale Holds Nation's Highest Scoring Team To 62 Points

LEXINGTON, Va. – Yale's size won out over VMI's quickness. As a result, the Bulldogs will play Murray State for the Tournament championship on Thursday night.

Yale held the nation's top scoring team nearly 30 points below its season average and earned a convincing 75-62 win over VMI before a boisterous crowd of 4,784 at Cameron Hall.

The Bulldogs (19-13) scored 30 points in the paint and dominated the boards, outrebounding the Keydets 45-27.

"I looked out at the teams before the game, and we were bigger at every spot," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball.

Still, the Bulldogs had to neutralize VMI's run-and-gun offense, which they did to perfection. The Keydets got very few easy baskets in transition.

"They are really, really quick, but we did a great job of controlling the tempo and getting the ball inside," said Javier Duren, Yale's point guard.

Duren, who had five inches on VMI's guards, led the way with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Justin Sears added 15 points before leaving the game midway through the second half with an injury. Brandon Sherrod scored 13 points and Armani Cotton contributed 11.

Rodney Glasgow had 20 points, and D.J. Covington added 17 for VMI, which finishes the season with a 22-13 overall record.

The championship game will be Thursday at 7 p.m. and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network. Murray State cruised to a 98-75 victory over Pacific in the second semifinal.

The Racers are 22-11 and finished 13-3 in the Ohio Valley Conference.

The Bulldogs have won three road games and beaten four teams that won at least 20 games during their CIT run.

Tuesday's game didn't start well for Yale. The Keydets led 8-2 after three minutes, but the Bulldogs outscored them 73-54 the rest of the way.

Yale shot 53.8 percent from the field in the second half and was 6-of-18 on three-pointers for the game.

The score was tied at 26 with four minutes left in the first half, but the Bulldogs used an 11-1 run to take a 37-27 lead at the intermission.

The lead grew to 16 early in the second half, but VMI made a run. Covington's layup pulled the Keydets within 64-58 with 5:30 left and had the raucous crowd in a frenzy. Duren, though, answered with a big jump shot, and VMI never got closer than seven the rest of the way.

"The atmosphere was terrific, but we did a great job of keeping our composure," Duren said.

The Bulldogs got contributions from a number of sources. Nick Victor had five points, including a big put back with less than two minutes to play, and added a game-high nine rebounds. Greg Kelley and Jesse Pritchard both made important three-pointers.

Yale will have little time to prepare for the championship game. The Bulldogs will spend much of Wednesday traveling to Kentucky.

"Our guys are used to it," Jones said of the quick turnaround. "It's a not a problem. We do it every week [in Ivy League play]."

Added Duren, "We're cherishing the moment. We've got to pull together for one more game. We will have six months to rest."

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity