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Men’s basketball earns first victory of season

Terriers defeat Coastal Carolina, 74–44

Freshman guard Maurice Watson Jr. scored 15 points in BU’s 74–44 victory. JACKIE ROBERTSON/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Wednesday night the Boston University men’s basketball team faced Coastal Carolina University at Case Gym and earned its first win of the season in a 74–44 victory.

It was the first of two meetings between the Terriers (1–5) and Chanticleers (2–4), and the series marks the first time BU will face a non-conference opponent more than once since the 2006–07 season.

“We have a lot of respect for Coastal Carolina,” said BU coach Joe Jones after the win. “I thought they were a team coming in that was very dangerous.”

BU got off to a nice start after junior forward Dom Morris won the tip-off for the Terriers. On the opening possession, junior forward Travis Robinson missed an open 3-pointer, which Morris was able to salvage with an offensive rebound.

After the offensive rebound, a series of turnovers ensued for both teams.

“It was ugly in the first half,” Jones said. “There were a lot of unforced errors. We had more travels called today than we’ve had all year. We just haven’t spent a lot of time on our timing. Those are things we’re going to have to work on in practice.”

The Terriers snapped out of their sloppy start when freshman forward Nathan Dieudonné put back a missed BU shot to get his team on the board first.

Coastal Carolina subsequently turned the ball over, and freshman guard Maurice Watson Jr. capitalized by drilling a 3-pointer to give BU a 5–0 lead to open the game.

While the Terriers continued to score and force Chanticleer turnovers, they were also able to contain guard Anthony Raffa, the nation’s No. 2 leading scorer.

To finish off the half, BU went on a tear and entered the locker room with a 31–18 advantage, its biggest lead of the season.

BU was able to combine strong defense with scoring when given opportunities in the first half. At the half, the Terriers were shooting 43.5 percent from the field, going 4–14 from deep.

The Chanticleers had 13 turnovers, shooting only 35 percent from the field and only 1-for-3 from 3-point range

It was more of the same in the second half for both teams. Coastal Carolina came out on the attack looking to cut into BU’s lead, but it was unable to execute.

BU kept the pressure going on both sides and, from the start of the second half, consistently forced the Chanticleers to turn the ball over.

“I put it on Dom, [junior guard] D.J. [Irving] and Travis [Robinson] to make sure we went into the second half with great effort,” Jones said. “Those guys did a great job of making sure we were ready to go in the second half.”

About five minutes into the second half, Irving started to emerge. In about two minutes, he picked up a three-point play, a steal and a rebound after a quiet first half.

No matter what they tried to do, the Chanticleers could not produce, and as the game slowly came to a close, BU did not let up.

The constant pressure resulted in BU’s first victory of the season, and the Terriers held their opponent to fewer than 50 points for the second time on the year.

They also held Raffa to eight points, much lower than his average of 26 per game.

“It wasn’t easy,” Watson Jr. said about covering Raffa. “He can score in a variety of ways, but it credits how hard we’ve worked, how much we paid attention to the scouting reports and how much we knew that limiting him was going to be the key to us winning on defense.”

Watson Jr. said the win will be helpful as the team moves forward.

“It definitely feels great getting that first win,” Watson Jr. said. “A big thing for us is staying positive and knowing we haven’t played our best basketball. Getting that first win is definitely going to increase our confidence.”

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