No. 12 Yale outlasted by No. 4 Duke, 71-64

So very close.

No. 12 Yale came up just short in its bid for the first Sweet 16 appearance in program history, falling to No. 4 Duke, 71-64, in front of a pro-Yale partisan crowd at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence.

Duke attained a 46-19 lead with 2:53 to play in the first half on a jumper from sophomore guard Grayson Allen, whose 29 points on 10-for-15 shooting, including a 5-for-7 clip from beyond the arc, tipped the game in the Blue Devils’ favor, giving Duke a cushion that it would need in the second stanza. The Bulldogs struggled with off-the-ball defense in the first half, getting gouged by open threes repeatedly, and Duke took a 48-25 lead into halftime.

But Yale wasn’t done. An 18-2 Elis run cut Duke’s lead to 54-47 with 11:38 remaining, and the run was fueled by rebounding from senior forward Justin Sears and scoring from Sears, junior guard Anthony Dallier and senior forward Brandon Sherrod, who in his final collegiate game posted 22 points on 10-for-17 shooting, seven rebounds, three steals, two assists and no fouls. Two-time Ivy Player of the Year Sears notched 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Yale (23-7 ,13-1 Ivy) cut Duke’s lead to 65-61 on two Sears free throws with 1:08 remaining, but two free throws from freshman guard Luke Kennard extended Duke’s lead to six 16 seconds later. Sherrod went 1-for-2 during a subsequent trip to the free throw line, with Sears tipping in Sherrod’s second-foul-shot miss to cut Duke’s lead to 67-64 with 41 seconds to go. But freshman forward Brandon Ingram responded with two more made foul shots and a subsequent Sherrod up-and-under layup rimmed out with 22 ticks left. Two Allen free throws iced the game.

Two days after scoring 31 points in Yale’s 79-75 first-round win over Baylor, sophomore guard Makai Mason was held in check by a Duke (25-10, 11-7 ACC) defense designed to do just that, scoring eight points on 2-for-12 shooting but also dishing seven assists versus four turnovers. Yale did outrebound Duke, 42-28, but the Dukies went 11-for-23 from three-point range, besting Yale’s 4-for-23 performance from deep. Ingram scored 25 points on 7-for-19 shooting, while senior center Marshall Plumlee added 10 rebounds and five blocks for the Blue Devils. Allen, Ingram and Kennard, all underclassmen, combined for 67 of Duke’s 71 points.

Yale’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 54 years may be over, but the program gave the Ivy League its fourth first-round win in seven seasons and made history for the Bulldogs, who have went 95-58 (.621) overall and 50-21 (.704) in Ivy play under coach James Jones since Brandon Sherrod first joined the program in 2011.

After the game, Jones and his players walked over to Yale’s cheering section to thank their supporters and his former players.


5 thoughts on “No. 12 Yale outlasted by No. 4 Duke, 71-64”

  1. Thanks for a great season of coverage, IHO Team! The League is stronger than ever. Next year is going to be a blast.

  2. PS. Especially after reading Yale’s record since Sherrod’s arrival, I would love to read an ode to this incredible senior class. (If the ‘Four that Roared’ deserved a love letter, I would think these guys would.) Not only a two time POY, but two guys who worked their butts off to get to All-Ivy form after 2015 off. They represented the League with grit and heart in Providence, and reminded the nation what college athletics are really supposed to be about. Ivy League weekends will not be nearly as fun without Sears, Sherrod & Victor!

  3. Eagerly awaited every IHO weekend summary this season. Kudos for the best analysis anywhere. Attended the Baylor game and could not have been more proud of how Yale represented the school and the league. The first half hole against Duke was just a little too deep, but anyone watching cannot have come away without being impressed with the skill, toughness, and character of Yale team. Go Bulldogs. Go Ivy League.

  4. Congratulations to Yale on a fine season! A team that people said was not deep enough down the stretch showed that they were with the excellent play of Anthony Dallier, Sam Downey, Blake Reynolds , Khalig Ghani and Tre Phills beyond their core four starters.
    A friend of mine who like me is a great fan of Columbia basketball, but not as interested in the whole NCAA tournament structure, was surprised that Yale played a second round game today and did not get a bye like Columbia did for the second round of the CIT. That brings me to the important point that Columbia is the only Ivy basketball team , men or women(out of six teams) that is still playing basketball, having a tournament game this Wednesday night, Columbia is a very tough team to play, if you haven’t seen them before as they are excellent from outside and in driving to the basket and the way they are playing now I am confident that they will be in and win the CIT on March 29th. Then aside from some teams that don’t qualify for a conference tournament or who are in leagues that don’t have tournaments(think Ivy), Columbia’s seniors may be one of the few group of seniors that close their college undergraduate(Mullins will still play as a graduate student) careers with a win!.

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