Yale put forth a valiant effort with high-usage star forward Justin Sears sidelined with a hand injury, but the Bulldogs were unable to create enough offense to keep up with the Murray State Racers, falling 65-57 on the road in the CIT championship.
Yale trailed by just one point at the break, but Murray State started the second half on a 9-3 run and held the Dawgs at an arm’s length the rest of the way. The Bulldogs shot just 26% from the field (20-77) with Javier Duren leading the way with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Brandon Sherrod and Matt Townsend both scored 6 points and cracked double-digit rebounds, pulling down 12 and 10 boards respectively.
Given the ice cold shooting, it was remarkable that the Elis were able to keep the game so close, but Yale– one of the country’s elite rebounding squads– crashed the boards with abandon, hauling in 25 offensive rebounds and earning 23 more shot attempts than its opponents. In the end, it wasn’t enough though as the Racers held on for the eight point victory and the championship.
Yale fans are left to ponder what could have been with a healthy Sears. With practically the entire roster returning in 2014-15 though, the Payne Whitney faithful will have little trouble getting over the disappointment of this loss as they look forward to the promise of next season.