NEW YORK – Yale’s Javier Duren scored 26 of his 33 points in the second half to propel the Bulldogs to a 72-69 win over Columbia in the quarterfinals of the 2014 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. The loss ends one of the best seasons in the Lions’ program’s history and finish the year 21-13, the most wins for the school since 1967-68.
Maodo Lo scored 22 points to lead Columbia. Alex Rosenberg scored 19 points and went 5-of-6 from the foul line to set a new school single-season record with 227 makes, breaking the old mark of 224 previously held by Chet Forte ‘57CC.
The Bulldogs (18-13) came out on a mission in the second half, scoring the first 12 points of the period to turn a nine-point deficit into a 37-34 lead with 16:22 left in regulation. From there, the teams battled back and forth, trading buckets until an Isaac Cohen free throw gave Columbia a 46-42 cushion with 10:47 on the clock, but could not shake Yale.
With the score tied at 55-55, Armani Cotton followed up a missed shot with an offensive rebound and putback and Duren came up with a steal and layup to put the Bulldogs in control with 2:51 left. Justin Sears made it 62-57 after a traditional 3-point play less than a minute later, but the Lions refused to go quietly.
Columbia traded 3-pointers for twos and pulled within 64-63 after a Lo bomb with 43 seconds left. Duren was fouled on the ensuing possession, made the front end of a one-and-one, but missed the second. However, the crafty Bulldog came up with the rebound and the Lions were forced to foul again with 34 ticks left.
Duren hit both, but Cotton could only hit 1-of-2 moments later to keep Columbia’s hopes alive. Lo buried his sixth triple of the night to make it a two-point ball game with 15 seconds left, and after two more foul shots by Duren, Steve Frankoski knocked down a trifecta from the right corner, pulling the Lions within 70-69 with five seconds to go.
Once again, Duren was fouled in the backcourt and hit a pair of clutch free throws with just under three seconds left and Lo’s 35-footer at the horn was well off the mark to put an abrupt end to Columbia’s remarkable season.
Rosenberg drilled a pair of triples to spark a 10-2 run to help Columbia get out to a 12-4 lead with 13:12 left in the first half. Sears put the Bulldogs on his back, scoring eight points to keep his team in it.
Yale tied the game at 18-18 after a Jack Montague 3-pointer from the right wing with 6:29 on the clock, but the Lions closed the half on a 13-4 spurt to take a 34-25 lead into the locker room.
The Bulldogs shot 62.5 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes and finished at a 53.2 percent clip for the game. Yale also held a dominant edge on the boards, winning that category 32-20.
Columbia assisted on 16 of 23 field goals, led by Cohen’s eight to tie a career-high.