For 20 minutes it was a total mismatch. Duke knocked down nearly every perimeter shot and Yale could neither slow the Blue Devils or even keep pace as the teams stood 23 points apart at halftime. However, things changed dramatically after intermission as Duke was forced to hang on down the stretch.
Grayson Allen scored a game high 29 while Brandon Ingram added 25 as Duke held off Yale, 71-64 on Saturday afternoon to advance to the Sweet 16.
With the victory the Blue Devils will face the winner of Oregon v. St. Joseph’s. The Ducks are the region’s top seed.
In order to advance to the round of eight, Duke will have to do much better when it comes to maintaining a standard of play. There wasn’t much to complain about for Coach Krzyzewski and staff in the first half as Duke led by as much as 27 points. But Yale used a couple of big runs around Duke scoring droughts to cut the lead all the way down to three with under a minute remaining.
The Bulldogs nearly pulled off the historic rally by extending a full court press and then falling into a zone if Duke could advance the ball beyond half court. The Blue Devils responded by going ice cold from the field and failing to rebound and boxout.
For the game Yale secured 42 rebounds including 20 offensive compared to Duke’s total of 28.
After a tip-back off a missed three throw by Justin Sears, Yale had it down to 67-64 with 39 second to play, but Duke was able to break the press and the Bulldogs had to foul Ingram. The freshman hit both free throws and then Duke got a stop on the next possession before Allen hit two free throws to ice the game.