BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Three Yale University student-athletes scored in double figures to lead the Bulldogs men’s basketball team to a 93-77 win over Central Connecticut State University. Justin Sears led his teammates with a double-double, registering 26 points and 13 rebounds. Armani Cotton scored 17 points while Javier Duran posted 16 points to lend support to the Yale cause.
Yale jumped out quickly by scoring 12 of the first 14 points to take a 12-2 advantage in the first four minutes of play. Central Connecticut scored the next nine points in two-plus minutes to pull within a point at 12-11 with 13:30 remaining. The Bulldogs pushed the lead to five points at 23-18, but the Blue Devils scored 13 straight points to take their biggest advantage of eight points at 31-23. Central Connecticut would nearly retain that lead nine minutes when the half ended as the team went into the locker room with a 47-40 edge.
Kyle Vinales was instrumental in that Central Connecticut run, finishing the half with 24 points, and accounting for more than half of the team’s points. He scored 10 of the team’s 13 points during that critical run that put the Blue Devils in the lead.
The Blue Devils continued to build their lead over the first six minutes of the second half, pushing their advantage to 17 points at 63-46 with 14:12 on the clock. But Yale was not intimidated by the daunting disadvantage and mounted a comeback that would include an 18-1 run over the next seven minutes that would tie the game at 64-64 with 7:19 remaining. Sears tallied 10 points during that 18-point offensive stretch, and would finish things with a pair of free throws that would give Yale the lead at 66-65.
Central Connecticut secured the lead for the last time when Vinales scored off a layup to make it 67-66. Grey Kelley’s three pointer made it a two-point Yale lead at 69-67 but Vinales tied the game with a jumper to make the score 69-69. The Bulldogs responded with nine straight points, five of which came from Duren, to take command at 78-69. Yale would take its biggest lead of the game with two free throws from Duren making the final score 93-77.
Vinales led all scorers with 30 points, joining Matt Hunter (11 points), Malcolm McMillan (11), and Juwan Newmen (10) as the Blue Devils’ double-digit scorers.