Courtesy: Yale Sports Publicity
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale put on an offensive clinic in its home opener. The Bulldogs shared the ball, made shots and got to the free throw line. The result was a very impressive 99-77 victory over Sacred Heart at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
Justin Sears scored 27 points, and Makai Mason added 21 as Yale cruised to its second straight lop-sided victory.
“It was just a great team effort,” said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs. “I thought we did a really good job of looking for each other and moving the ball.”
Yale, which beat Fairfield 70-57 on Friday, had 21 assists on its 32 field goals and committed only seven turnovers.
The Bulldogs shot 48.5 percent from the field, 52.9 percent (9-of-17) from three-point range and made 26 free throws.
Jack Montague (15 points) and Brandon Sherrod (12) also scored in double figures. Khaliq Ghani and Anthony Dallier contributed nine points apiece, and Sam Downey added four. Nick Victor had a team-high 11 rebounds.
Cane Broome paced Sacred Heart (1-1) with 32 points.
Sears did most of his damage in the first half when he scored 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting.
Yale also got to the foul line 21 times in the opening 20 minutes, which led to a 51-33 advantage at the break.
“We are difficult to guard with our size and athleticism,” Jones said.
The Pioneers never got closer than 14 in the second half.
Mason, who scored 23 points in the season-opening win over Fairfield, had another strong game. He was 6-of-13 from the field, 3-of-4 from three-point range and 6-of-8 from the foul line. In addition, he contributed five assists and two steals in 36 minutes and scored six of Yale’s first 10 points.
“I just tried to be aggressive at the start and jump start the offense,” he said.
Broome almost single-handily kept the Pioneers in the game. He was 10-of-14 from the field and made all nine of his free throws.
“He’s tough to guard. He has a quick release,” said Mason, who played on the same AAU team as Broome and admitted there was a little chatter between the two guards during the game.
Yale’s bench played a major role in the win. After contributing only two points in the victory over Fairfield, the Bulldogs’ reserves combined for 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
“There’s always a comfort level playing at home,” Jones said of his bench. “Hopefully they will gain some confidence and play the same way on the road.”