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Bulldogs Roll In Home Opener; Knock Off Sacred Heart 80-65

Brandon Sherrod. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Brandon Sherrod. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

All Five Starters Score In Double Figures To Lead Yale

NEW HAVEN, Conn. –A balanced offensive effort led to a successful home opener for the Yale men's basketball team. All five starters scored in doubles figures as Yale rolled to an 80-65 victory over Sacred Heart at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Javier Duren and Nick Victor each scored 16 points to pace the Bulldogs. Justin Sears added 13, Armani Cotton scored 11 and Brandon Sherrod chipped in with 10.

"We can play with anybody if we work the ball," said Victor, who established a new career high with the 16 points. "We need it to be a team effort, not individuals."

Victor hit all seven of his shots from the field and added four rebounds in 30 minutes.

"I just try to find my spots," he said. "I like to drive and attack, and I've spent a lot of time working on my shot."

Victor also blocked three shots.

"Those are just effort plays," he said of the blocks. "That's what everyone has to do. [The blocks] turns to offense and gives us some momentum."

It looked like the Bulldogs were going to cruise to an easy victory when they led by 16 midway through the second half. Sacred Heart, though, had other ideas. The Pioneers closed to within six, 59-53, on Evan Kelley's layup with 7:36 left.

The Bulldogs, though, answered with a 14-1 run over the next four minutes to seal the win. Duren (five points) and Matt Townsend (four) spearheaded the spurt.

"We calmed down," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach. "We forced them into some mistakes and got some stops."

Yale (2-2) shot 48.1 percent from the field in the game and was 8-of-21 from three-point range. Nevertheless, Jones sees room for improvement.

"Our offense did not run as smoothly as I'd like," he said. "We took some chances that we didn't need to take."

It was difficult for either team to get in a good offensive flow. There were 54 fouls called in the game, and the teams combined to shoot 64 free throws. The Bulldogs were 20-of-32 from the foul line, while Sacred Heart went 17-for-32.

Kelley paced Sacred Heart (0-4) with 22 points. Leo Vincent scored 14, and Chris Evans added 13.

The Bulldogs are back in action on Saturday when they travel to Macon, Ga., to face Mercer. Tipoff is slated for noon.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity