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Bulldogs Complete Weekend Sweep; Knock Off Cornell 61-57

Javier Duren (photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)
Javier Duren (photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)

Duren Scores 19 Points To Pace Yale

NEW HAVEN, Conn. –Javier Duren had a big final five minutes in Yale's crucial Ivy League victory over Cornell on Saturday.  Duren scored seven of his team-high 19 points late in the second half as the Bulldogs escaped with a 61-57 victory over the Big Red at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

After Cornell had rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit to tie the score at 47, Duren hit a big three-pointer to give the Bulldogs the lead. He then helped make sure they never relinquished it by hitting four free throws in the final 1:49 as Yale completed a weekend sweep and improved to 3-1 in Ivy play.

Justin Sears added 11 points and 11 rebounds, Armani Cotton and Jesse Pritchard each had six points, and Brandon Sherrod and Nick Victor contributed five points apiece for the Bulldogs.

Cornell (1-17, 0-4 Ivy) remains winless in Ivy play.

Yale (9-9) dominated on the boards, outrebounding the Big Red 42-26, and also had a 22-0 edge in bench points but still couldn't shake a pesky Cornell team.

Nolan Cressler and Devin Cherry were the reason why. Cressler scored 29 points, while Cherry added 19. The two combined for 48 of the Big Red's 57 points.

"Cornell is a much better team than their record shows," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball.

The Big Red certainly looked good at the start, racing out to an 8-0 lead after four minutes. The Bulldogs, though, outscored Cornell 26-11 over the rest of the first half and had a 26-19 lead at the intermission.

It looked like Yale was going to cruise home when the lead ballooned to 14 early in the second half, but the Big Red used a 14-4 run over a six-minute stretch to get back in it.

Cornell shot 54.5 percent from the field in the second half, while Yale began settling for quick shots.

"We took too many threes," Jones said. "We want to get the ball inside, but we gave up on it."

The Bulldogs were 8-of-24 from beyond the arc.

The victory capped a successful weekend for the Bulldogs, who beat Columbia 69-59 on Friday.

"We got our confidence back," Duren said. "The guys really came together."

NOTES: While Duren had the majority of the points down the stretch, Matt Townsend also had a couple of big baskets. His layup in traffic with 3:06 left gave the Bulldogs a five-point lead. Cherry answered immediately for Cornell, but Townsend scored again on Yale's next possession… Sears' double-double was his fifth of the season… The Bulldogs swept the Columbia-Cornell home weekend for the third time in the last four years… Yale is back on the road next weekend, travelling to Dartmouth on Friday and Harvard on Saturday.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity