Justin Sears scores 1,000th career point, Yale men’s basketball slips past Sacred Heart, 70-64

From YaleBulldogs.com:

Duren Paces Yale With 22 Points

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – It took the Bulldogs a half to find their range from the field after a nine-day layoff, but once they did, they were deadly. Yale was 7-of-8 (87.5 percent) from three-point range in the second half en route to a 70-64 victory over Sacred Heart in a rare mid-week matinee at the William H. Pitt Center.

The Bulldogs (10-4) led 30-27 at the intermission, stretched the advantage to 15 with a hot start from the field before holding off a late Pioneer rally.

Javier Duren led the way with 22 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals in 36 very productive minutes. Justin Sears added 16 points, including the 1,000th of his career, and Matt Townsend scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds.

“We got some really good, open looks and we did an excellent job of moving the basketball,” said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men’s Basketball. “We have a number of guys that can shoot.”

Yale shot 62.5 percent (10-of-16) from beyond the arc for the game. Duren (4-of-7), Jack Montague (2-of-3), Armani Cotton (2-of-4) and Anthony Dallier (2-of-2) all got in on the action.

“We did a great job of playing team basketball,” said Duren.

Sears, a junior, entered the day seven points shy of 1,000, and it didn’t take him long to reach the milestone. It came on a baseline jumper with 9:18 left in the first half.

The last Yale player to score 1,000 points prior to his senior year was Ed Petersen, who did it in 1990-91. Sears is the 26th player to score 1,000 points in school history. The last was Austin Morgan in 2012-13.

“I’m just happy it came in a win,” said Sears, who last year became the first Yale sophomore since Chris Dudley to earn first team All-Ivy recognition. “I want to move on and keep winning games.”

With 10 victories and three more non-league games, the Bulldogs have a chance to enter Ivy play with their most overall wins since the Ivy League was officially formed in 1956-57. The 2011-12 and 1991-92 teams both also had 10 wins.

It looked like win No. 10 was going to come easily when Montague buried a three-pointer that gave Yale a 47-32 lead with 13:49 left.

The Pioneers, though, clawed their way back into the game, closing to within one, 61-60, on two Phil Gaetano free throws with 3:58 remaining.

Duren then took over down the stretch. His conventional three-point play put Yale up four, and he then made four free throws in the final 1:36 to seal the win.

“Javier did a great job leading us,” Jones said. “He made the right decisions and got to the free throw line.”

Duren’s defense also was instrumental in holding Cane Broome, Sacred Heart’s leading scorer, to just two points, more than 13 below his average.

Steve Glowiak paced the Pioneers (6-7) with 15 points, and De’Von Barnett added 14.

Yale dominated on the glass, outrebounding SHU 38-19.

The Bulldogs are back in action on Saturday when they play at Vanderbilt. Tipoff in the Music City is slated for 2 p.m. EST.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (timothy.bennett@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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