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Yale Battles VMI For Berth In CIT Championship Game

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

Teams Meet For First Time

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – For the first time in its long history, Yale will play a men's basketball game in April. The Bulldogs are set to face VMI on Tuesday in the semifinals of the Tournament (CIT). Tipoff at Cameron Hall in Lexington, Va., is slated for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.

Pacific is at Murray State in the other semifinal. The two winners advance to Thursday's CIT championship game, which also will air on the CBS Sports Network. It is expected that a Yale-Pacific final would be played at Lee Amphitheater.

The tournament run is capping what has been a very successful season for the Bulldogs, who still have a chance to reach the 20-win mark for the first time since 2001-02. Yale was second in the Ivy League, its best finish since 2006-07, handed Harvard its only league loss and entered the final weekend of the regular season still in the hunt for the Ivy title.

The Bulldogs' three wins in the tournament have come by a combined nine points. Justin Sears' three pointer with less than a second left was the winning basket in a 69-68 victory over Quinnipiac in the first round. Yale then edged Holy Cross 71-66 in the second round and beat Columbia 72-69 in an all-Ivy quarterfinal. Javier Duren had a career night against the Lions, scoring a career-high 33 points, including 26 in the second half.

The tournament experience should serve the Bulldogs well next year. There are only two seniors on the roster and the team's top eight scorers will return.


Control The Pace – VMI is the highest scoring team in the nation and the Keydets like to run the floor and get shots quickly. VMI has 2,386 field goal attempts on the season. By comparison, Yale has taken 1,593 shots in its 31 games.

Protect The Ball  – VMI will utilize a full-court press to help force tempo, and turnovers will only assist the Keydets' high-powered offense.

Get Back On Defense – Have we mentioned VMI plays up-tempo? The Keydets don't usually pass the ball more than five or six times a possession, so if Yale can get itself matched up quickly, there will be opportunities to force more difficult shots.


This will be the first meeting between Yale and VMI. It is Yale's first game in the state of Virginia since a 58-56 loss at Hampton in 2008.


The Keydets (22-11) are playing in their first postseason national tournament in 37 years and have won the most postseason games (3) in program history. VMI is the highest scoring team in the nation, averaging 89 points per game. The Keydets have been even more proficient in the CIT. They beat Canisius 111-100 in the first round, IPFW 106-95 in the second round and Ohio 92-90 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. D.J. Covington (20.2 ppg.), QJ Peterson (19.4 ppg.) and Rodney Glasgow (18.8 ppg.) average double figures in scoring. Covington set a new CIT single-game scoring record when he went off for 41 points in the win over IPFW. VMI is 14-2 in Cameron Hall this season. 


The sixth annual CIT features a 32-team field made up of non-BCS programs not participating in the NCAA or NIT. All 31 games are played on campus sites. Future round opponents are determined after the results of the previous round. The second round is slated for Mar. 21-22, the quarterfinals are Mar. 25-27, the semifinals are Apr. 1 and the championship game is Apr. 3. Both the semifinals and the championship game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.

All Times EST


Yale (18-13) @ VMI (22-12) 7:00 pm


Pacific (18-15) @ Murray State (21-11) 9:00 pm



Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity