Only eight days and one game after defeating Coastal Carolina University, 74–44, for its first win of the season, the Boston University men’s basketball team will travel to Conway, S.C., to play the Chanticleers for the second time this season at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Entering the first contest at Case Gym, Coastal Carolina (2–4) was averaging 77 points a game with most of its offense coming through senior guard Anthony Raffa, who is second in the nation in scoring with an average of 26 points a game.
On the other hand, BU was a young team struggling for its first win of the season. On paper, it seemed like the matchup would result in the Terriers’ sixth loss of the season.
However, the opposite happened.
The Terriers took it to the Chanticleers in the first half and found themselves up 31–18 at halftime thanks to 12 points off Coastal Carolina turnovers.
The defense, for the first time in the young season, was strong, while the offense kept draining baskets to eventually give BU its first win of the season.
Freshman guard Maurice Watson Jr. was given the tall order of guarding Raffa, and he held the prolific scorer to a measly eight points in 32 minutes. Watson also led the Terriers in scoring with 15 points.
BU stunned Coastal Carolina, but BU coach Joe Jones said he understands Thursday’s game will be different.
“I can guarantee you this thing is going to be a lot harder,” Jones said. “We were fortunate to play so well and obviously that was one of [Coastal Carolina’s] worst games of the year.”
Jones, who said he has much respect for Coastal Carolina coach Cliff Ellis, said he is prepared for the fifth-year Chanticleer coach to have his guys ready to go with a different game plan this Thursday.
“Coach Ellis is a very experienced coach — a terrific coach,” Jones said. “I’m sure he is going to have those guys ready. It is not going to be the same game plan. They are much better than how they played.”
While Coastal Carolina has not played another game in the eight-day span, the Terriers visited St. Peter’s University last Saturday and pulled out their second win of the season by a score of 74–66.
Against St. Peter’s (3–4), Watson again had a huge game with 21 points and seven assists. BU also got contributions from junior guard Travis Robinson, who scored 15 points after going 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. Freshman guard John Papale and junior forward Dom Morris were also in double figures for points with 15 and 10, respectively.
Now on a two-game winning streak, BU looks to continue winning, but understands it will not be easy against a Coastal Carolina team that is better than it displayed at Case Gym on Nov. 28.
“We are going to have our hands full and we know that,” Jones said. “We have been working towards this thing being a war on Thursday night. For us, we want to continue to win and we are really going to have to earn it. I think our guys know that and they’ll be ready.”
Jones said he looks forward to this game being more difficult because it will provide another valuable experience for a young BU team.
“Now we have to see if we have the maturity and the fortitude to be able to go out and compete and do what we need to do,” Jones said. “I’m more concerned about what we do than what they do. I think if we can go out and play our game we are going to be OK.”