The Boston University men’s basketball team looks to overcome a disappointing winless start to the season as it hosts Coastal Carolina University at Case Gym Wednesday at 7 p.m.
On Saturday night, the Terriers (0–5) travelled to Fairfax, Va., to take on George Mason University. For the third time this season, the Terriers suffered a last-second defeat.
The first such loss came against Northeastern University on Nov. 9. As the clock wound down, guard Demetrius Pollard drained an open 3-pointer to defeat BU.
The Terriers’ second close defeat came Nov. 20 against Rutgers University when a flagrant foul ruined the Terriers’ chances of an upset.
Against the Patriots (4–2), the Terriers’ defense collapsed as it did against Northeastern. They gave GMU guard Bryon Allen an open lane to the hoop, which he attacked with ease. While making the layup to put his team up by two, Allen was fouled. He hit the ensuing free throw.
The loss was BU’s fifth in a row to start the season. It is the first time BU has started a season 0-5 since the 2005-06 campaign.
On Wednesday evening, the Terriers look to regroup in front of Terrier Nation in their second home game this season. BU will host the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers for the first time since 1992. The matchup will be the Terriers’ first game against a member of the Big South Conference in 12 years.
“We’re happy to be coming back home, especially since we only had one chance to play [at Case] in our first five games,” said BU coach Joe Jones.
Although BU has started off with five consecutive losses, the team has not played poorly. Its last two games were two of its most well-rounded games of the season.
Against Rutgers (5–1), junior guard D.J. Irving scored a career-high 24 points despite having early shooting trouble.
In the most recent game, junior forward Dom Morris recorded his third career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
BU’s inability to make shots held it back against GMU. BU counts on sharpshooting freshman guard John Papale for clutch 3-pointers, but he only made a quarter of his shots, going 2-for-8 from deep, while turning the ball over three times.
The team as a whole shot 15-for-53, or 28 percent from the field.
“I thought the George Mason game was our best game,” Jones said. “I think they shot 33 percent from the floor. I think we did a great job defensively. We shared the ball, got open shots, but couldn’t make them.
“It’s been a game of inches … We were a few possessions away from being 3–2 and that’s the way you got to look at it.”
The Terriers will have their hands full against the Chanticleers (2–2) Wednesday night, Jones said.
“They are a dangerous offensive team, they out-rebound,” Jones said. “They have the nation’s leading scorer [in senior Anthony Raffa] who transferred from Albany. [Coastal Carolina] is a quality team and quality opponent.”
Raffa is off to a great start this season, averaging 26 points per game.
“We have got to make him take tough shots,” Jones said about his strategy for defending Raffa. “If we leave him open, he’s the kind of guy that’s going to take shots. We have to do a good job contesting him.”
Raffa’s scoring ability is complemented by a great supporting cast. The team is averaging 77.6 points per game this season.
BU’s struggling offense will face a sizeable challenge in the high-scoring Coastal Carolina team.