Duke gets out to big lead, holds on to beat Yale 71-64

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Duke got out to a big lead behind Grayson Allen and then held on thanks to Brandon Ingram to defeat hard-charging Yale 71-64.

Allen scored 22 of his game-high 29 points in the first half to get the Devils out to a commanding 48-25 lead at the break. After Yale went on a 15-0 run in the second half, it took Ingram to stop the bleeding.

After Ingram rebounded his own miss and scored to put the Devils up 54-32 in the second half, Yale went on that 15-0 run. An aggressive Ingram glided through the lane for a finger roll layup to right the ship at 56-47.

The lead stayed around six to nine points until the end when Yale cut it to 67-64, a one-possession game, with 33 seconds to play. With the score 67-61, Brandon Sherrod, who led Yale with 22 points, hit the first of two free throws but missed the second and Bulldog Justin Sears tipped it in to make it 67-64.

But with 33 seconds left, Ingram hit two free throws in a one-and-one situation that gave him 25 points for the game and made it a two-possession game again at 69-64. Allen wrapped it up with two free throws with eight seconds left.

The Blue Devils advance in the West Region to the Sweet 16 and will play the winner of Oregon-St. Joe’s.

Duke trailed Yale 13-12 after the first five minutes of the game. But Duke freshman Luke Kennard nailed a pair of three pointers to start an 11-2 run that created some distance between the teams at 23-15, Duke.

Allen, who already had five points, took it from there. With the score 23-17, Allen scored seven to make it 30-19. Then, with the score 36-19, he scored 10 more to give Duke its largest lead at 46-19. During the barrage, Allen drained four threes. Meanwhile, Yale managed to hit just one of 11 threes in the first half.

“Everything went unbelievable for us in the first half,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Everything we shot went in. They had some open shots but they missed them.”

The Blue Devils, to a man, after the game said they knew Yale would make a comeback. “They pushed the ball on us and made some shots,” said Duke’s Kennard, the only other Blue Devil in double figures with 13.

“We came out and were ready to go and built a commanding lead,” Kennard said. “We’ve got to find a way to keep those leads.”

Coach K seemed to attribute the shrinking lead to his teams lack of experience combined with Yale’s experience. “We have three 18-year-olds playing that get lost at the amusement park,” he said.

But he said he was proud of the way his team found a way to finish off the win. He said that once Yale made its run, his Blue Devils had to play the second half “with the weight of the world” on them. In particular, he praised Ingram for knocking down the free throws late.

“Thank goodness for us we won the last minute of the second half,” he added.

Box Score

Game blog below:

Allen hits the second free throw and Yale’s three-point attempt is blocked by Plumlee. Game over. 71-64 Duke.


4:54 p.m. Grayson Allen pretty much puts it away with a free throw with 8.2 left to give the Devils a 70-64 lead. A timeout called before Allen’s second free throw.


4:51 p.m. Yale’s Sherrod, a bad free throw shooter, hit one of two free throws. But Sears tips it in to draw Yale within three at 67-64 with 33 seconds left.


4:49 p.m. Kennard hits front end of a one-and-one and then hits the second to make it 67-61 with 52.9 left. Coach K calls timeout.


4:47 p.m. Duke has not scored in two and a half minutes.


4:41 p.m. Duke is eating clock with just over two minutes to play. Yale’s Brandon Sherrod hit a jumper to cut the lead to 65-57.


4:38 p.m. After a lull, Duke’s defense seems to be bothering Yale again. On the offensive end, it continues to be Ingram – who just hit a three –  leading the way. Devils up 65-55 with 3:12 left. Yale had to call a timeout as there was no natural stoppage in play to get the under four-minute timeout.


4:33 p.m. Duke got back up to a double-digit lead at 60-49 on an Ingram bucket (20 points) but Yale has scored four straight to make it 60-53 with just over six minutes to go.


4:29 p.m. There’s just 7:47 left to play and the Blue Devils are holding a 58-49 lead. The Devils are in foul trouble but is it too late for the Bulldogs to take advantage of it. We’ll see. Yale has outscored Duke 24-10 in the second half as the Devils have gone cold.


4:26 p.m. Plumlee picked up his fourth foul and has left the game for the time being. Jones also has fourth.


4:22 p.m. Ingram stops the bleeding with a finger roll bucket and then Plumlee blocks a shot and comes away with it. Duke up 56-47 midway through the second half. Matt Jones picked up his fourth foul for Duke. Plumlee has three.


4:17 p.m. Yale has gone on a 15-0 run to make it a game again with 11:38 to play. Yale has bothered Duke defensively lately and capitalized by getting inside for buckets including an old-fashioned three-point play by Makai Mason. Duke led 54-32 and you could hear the channels changing


4:08 p.m. Coach K angrily called timeout after Yale hit back-to-back open threes to draw the Bulldogs within 16 at 54-38.


4:05 p.m. Yale players look a little more energized to start the second half but an Allen three from the left wing and a Brandon Ingram rebound follow have the Devils up 54-32 at the inside four-minute TV timeout. Allen now has 25 points. His career-high is 33 against Long Beach State. He’ll probably break that this afternoon.


Halftime: Grayson Allen’s 22 points led the Blue Devils to a 48-25 commanding lead at the half. Allen had three points against Yale in the first half of their game earlier in the year when the Devils led by just two before going on to win 80-61. Duke shot 61 percent in the first half today and pulled away after Yale had taken a 13-12 lead in the first five minutes.

The mostly anti-Duke crowd rooting for the underdog were trying to get under Allen’s skin but maybe it spurred him on. They yelled “Ted Cruz” when he touched the ball, evidently implying there is a resemblance. Duke fans responded with “Grayson’s winning” chat.


3:34 Yale went on a mini 6-0 run before an inbounds dunk for Marshall Plumlee stops that. Last seconds of the half, Duke in control 48-25.


3:30 Duke went on an 18-0 run after five more for Allen that gives him 22 on the day. The Devils now up 46-23.


3:26 p.m. Duke is hot. The Devils got two threes from Kennard, one from Thornton and now Allen swishes a long one to help Duke to a 41-19 lead. Allen already has 17 points. Duke shot 68 percent in the second half of its first-round game and the Devils seem to continued that hot hand as they are hitting almost 67 percent today. The Devils are on a 13-0 run.


3:23 p.m. Allen gets free for a fastbreak dunk to put Duke in command, 38-29.


3:22 p.m. A pair of threes by Duke – one by Thornton and one by Kennard – cause Yale to call a timeout as the lead has been opened to 36-19.


3:20 p.m. Allen hits two free throws to increase the Duke lead to 11 at 30-19. He now has 12 points. He only had three at halftime when the two teams played earlier in the year.


3:11 p.m. Duke’s Grayson Allen scored five straight, including a three that prompted a Yale timeout, to give him 10 points already and give the Blue Devils their first double-digit lead at 28-17.


3:07 p.m. Duke has gone on a 12-2 run after falling behind 13-12. Luke Kennard started the run with a three from the left wing. It’s currently 23-15 midway through the first half.


Duke has been in a dogfight with Yale early but the Blue Devils went on an 8-0 run to take a 20-13 lead. Currently it’s 20-15 almost eight minutes into the game.

The Blue Devils trailed Yale almost the entire first half when the two teams played earlier in the year in Durham. They seemed to have learned their lesson about starting slow.

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