Duo Combine For 37 Points, 21 Rebounds
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The frontcourt duo of Justin Sears and Brandon Sherrod helped power the Yale men's basketball team to a non-conference victory over New Hampshire. Sears and Sherrod combined to go 12-of-15 from the field, score 37 points and grab 21 rebounds as the Bulldogs knocked off the Wildcats 71-61 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
"We talked about our post guys taking it strong to the basket," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball.
Much of Sears' and Sherrod's damage came on the offensive boards as 11 of their rebounds followed missed shots. In all, Yale grabbed 16 offensive rebounds, which led to 21 second-chance points.
"They were playing zone so that really opened it up for offensive rebounds," said Sears, who finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season.
Sherrod scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds. The rest of Yale's attack was more balanced as ten players scored between two and six points. Greg Kelley finished with six points, freshman Anthony Dallier added five and Armani Cotton and Khaliq Bedart Ghani scored four each.
Yale's bench outscored New Hampshire's reserves 24-19.
Yale was outstanding defensively in the first half. The Bulldogs limited UNH to three field goals and 16.7 percent shooting (3-of-18) from the field en route to building a 30-14 halftime lead.
"We came out with energy and passion on the defensive end," said Sears, who had 11 points and eight rebounds at the intermission.
Added Jones, "We rebounded really well at both ends of the floor, and defensively our rotations were really good."
In the second half, the Bulldogs had trouble shaking the pesky Wildcats, who were playing without Chris Pelcher, their leading scorer (13.7 ppg.) and rebounder (11.8 rpg.). Patrick Konan's layup pulled UNH within seven, 40-33, with 12:24 left.
Jesse Pritchard, though, answered with a three-pointer to send the lead back to double digits and New Hampshire never got closer than nine the rest of the way.
"In the second half, they went with a smaller lineup because of foul trouble, and we didn't do a good job of stopping penetration," Jones said.
The two teams combined to shoot 67 free throws in the game. The Bulldogs were 26-of-36, while UNH went 20-of-28. There were 49 fouls called and the Wildcats had three players foul out.
Konan scored 14 points to pace New Hampshire (2-6).
The Bulldogs (5-4) have won three of their last four games and now have a nine-day break for exams before playing at Providence on Dec. 17.
"We're ahead of where we were last year, but there is still a lot we can do better," Jones said. "[The break] will give us some time to work on some things."
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity