Dec. 29, 2013
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Competing in its final non-conference game of the 2013-14 regular season, the Boston University men's basketball team dropped a 73-67 decision at Saint Joseph's on Sunday evening. With their third straight win, the Hawks improve to 7-4, while the Terriers fall to 7-6.
Trailing by nine with 1:25 remaining, sophomore Maurice Watson Jr. tried to ignite a BU rally with 11 of his game and season-high 21 points in the final 85 seconds of regulation, but the Hawks went 8-of-10 from the charity stripe to hold on for the win. Watson added seven assists, while senior Dom Morris had 11 points and seven rebounds. All nine Terriers hit a field goal and hauled in at least one rebound, but the seven second half turnovers proved to be too much to overcome.
Saint Joseph's only produced two points off the bench, but the other Hawks were not needed as four starters finished in double figures. Both Ronald Roberts and Chris Wilson had 19 points apiece, shooting an identical 7-of-14 from the field. Langston Galloway posted 16 points, and DeAndre Bembry finished with 11. The fifth starter Halil Kanacevic also had a solid performance behind a game-high eight rebounds, seven assists and six points.
Down 54-47 with 8:46 left in regulation, SJU went on an 18-2 run over the next six minutes to pull away. The Hawks shot 17-of-21 (.810) at the charity stripe in the second half after attempting just four shots in the first to improve to 8-1 all-time in the series dating back to 1982-83.
Wilson opened the game with a 3-pointer and scored the Hawks' first 10 points to give SJU a 10-4 lead at 16:37. Down 19-16 with 10:15 left in the half, the Terriers went on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes behind four points each from Morris and freshman Cedric Hankerson.
BU grabbed its largest lead of the contest at 1:23 on a Watson layup that followed a steal by junior Malik Thomas
. SJU cut the deficit though to seven (35-28) entering the locker room on a Roberts dunk and Wilson 3-pointer.
The Terriers would push the advantage back to double digits, 41-30, early in the first half on 3-pointers by senior D.J. Irving and sophomore John Papale. Unfortunately, BU would go 0-of-9 the rest of the game from behind the arc to finish 5-of-22 (.227).
SJU mounted its first of two key rallies in the second half to tie the game at 43-43 with 13:50 remaining. Galloway had hurt the Terriers with a combined 54 points in the previous two meetings and finally found his shot with two jumpers and a 3-pointer after going 1-of-5 in the first half.
Roberts tied the game again at 47-47 with 11:05 remaining on two free throws. The Terriers then went on a 7-0 spurt over the following two minutes off a Morris layup and five made free throws. The lead would not last long though, as SJU's defense clamped down and held BU to 0-of-7 shooting while forcing four turnovers in-between Morris' layup at 10:55 and Watson's basket at 1:25.
Bembry drained a trey and two shots at the charity stripe to help tie the game for the fifth and final time, 54-54, at 7:33. After BU's missed jumper, Kanacevic missed a layup but grabbed the offensive rebound and earned the putback.
Morris cut the Terriers' deficit to three (59-56) at 5:20, but Bembry responded with a long jumper. The Hawks then got the defensive stop and used an offensive rebound to retain possession before hitting two free throws. Wilson's jumper with 2:09 left extended the lead to nine (65-56) before Watson tried to mount a rally.
BU was held to 37.9 percent shooting in the second half to finish 26-of-62 (.419). On the flip side, the Hawks shot 48.1 percent in the final 20 minutes to end the contest 24-of-53 (.453). Both teams had 33 rebounds, and BU had three fewer turnovers (12-9).
However, the Terriers suffered their first loss of the season when finishing ahead in points off turnovers (13-12) due to the Hawks' ability to get to the line. SJU hit 10 more free throws than the Terriers at 20-10 with Galloway going 7-of-8.
BU will next tip off a new era when the Terriers host Holy Cross on Thursday (Jan. 2) at Agganis Arena in the first-ever Patriot League game. The contest will hold special meaning as it marks the first conference meeting between the two in-state rivals since BU claimed a thrilling 63-62 victory for the 1983 ECAC North championship.