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Bulldogs Roll Past Columbia 75-56

Nick Victor. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Nick Victor. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Eight Players Contribute At Least Six Points

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale ran its offense to near perfection Saturday against Columbia. The result was a surprisingly easy 75-56 victory over the Lions before 1,426 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

The Bulldogs (10-15, 4-4 Ivy) shot 62 percent from the field and dominated on the boards, outrebounding Columbia 33-20.

"It seemed whatever we ran, we got a good look," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "In our half-court offense we took advantage of their smaller lineups, and we were able to get the ball to the basket off dribble penetration."

Justin Sears and Brandon Sherrod led a balanced Yale attack with 10 points apiece. Six other players contributed at least six points: Matt Townsend and Javier Duren each had eight, Armani Cotton scored seven and Austin Morgan and Nick Victor both had six.

"Everybody brought positive energy," said Morgan, who extended his consecutive made free throw streak to 29 by going 3-for-3 from the line. "It's tough to stop 12 people. That's the fantastic quality about our team."

A night after starting slowly in Friday's game with Cornell, the Bulldogs were on their game from the start. Yale scored the first nine points of the game and never trailed.

The Lions (10-12, 2-6 Ivy) pulled to within three midway through the first half, but Yale answered with a 20-6 run and was never threatened again.

"Our starting group has a lot of pride. They felt bad last night," said Jones, who watched his team fall behind 11-2 against the Big Red. "We certainly had much more energy at the start tonight."

Steve Frankoski led Columbia with 16 points and Brad Gilson added 11.

The first half was a clinic on offense for the Bulldogs, who were 18-of-27 (66.7 percent) from the field in building a commanding 43-21 lead. Sears made all four of his field goals and had nine points to lead the way.

Yale cooled off a bit in the second half (56.5 percent) but still cruised to the victory.

Columbia, which has wins over Villanova and Harvard on its resume, shot just 31.8 percent in the first half and committed 19 turnovers in the game.

Yale, which has won three of its last four games, bounced back well from Friday's disappointing 68-61 loss to Cornell.

"We feel we are a better team than our record shows," said Duren, who was 4-of-5 from the field. "We have to work on being consistent, and execute what we do in practice."

NOTES: Yale has now won eight games in a row against Columbia… Sherrod, who is still working his way back from an injury that forced him to miss seven games, was 5-of-7 from the field. His 10 points were a season high… The Bulldogs attempted just 10 three-pointers and made three… The Newtown, Conn., Youth Basketball program played a short halftime game and then visited with the Bulldogs in the locker room following the game… The Bulldogs are back at home next weekend, hosting Dartmouth on Friday at 7 p.m. and Harvard on Saturday at 8 p.m. The game with Harvard will be televised on the CBS College Sports Network.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity