Since its home loss against George Washington University on Nov. 17, the Boston University men’s basketball team was only a last-second bucket from senior guard D.J. Irving away from a four-game win streak.
Instead, the Terriers fell to Harvard University on the road Tuesday night and lost after its three-game winning streak.
The strong play from BU came after their loss to George Washington University, in which the Terriers were embarrassed in front of their home fans. BU traveled to New Brunswick, N.J., to take on Rutgers University and fought until the last possession. After a flagrant foul on BU, the Scarlet Knights (7–2) pulled out the close game, 81–79.
Four days later on Nov. 24, BU lost another close game at George Mason University, 48–45. Even after an 0–5 start, the first win for the Terriers was imminent.
In their second home game of the season, the Terriers played host to a very good Coastal Carolina University team. Eager for the first win of the season, the Terriers defended the Chanticleers (2–5) to the brink and held the high scoring team to only 44 points. The Terriers were able to put up 74 points and defeated Coastal Carolina to get their first win of the season.
It was surprising that the win ended up starting a four-game winning streak for a Terrier team that seemed destined for a lackluster season, starting 0–5.
Against St. Peter’s University on Dec. 1, BU was able to get its second win of the season with a 74–66 victory over the Peacocks (4–5). The Terriers led the entire game and freshman guard Maurice Watson Jr. was able to put up 21 points while also tallying seven assists. Watson was honored later that week with America East Rookie of the Week honors.
The streak continued when BU was able to defeat Coastal Carolina for the second time on Dec. 6 on the road, 69–63. Senior forward Dom Morris scored 18 points in the victory.
BU faced its toughest test Tuesday at Harvard University at Lavietes Pavilion.
The first half started sloppily with both teams having numerous turnovers and missing wide-open shots. BU also got into foul trouble early with nine fouls in the first half and two for sophomore guard Malik Thomas within the first 90 seconds of play. Even with the less than spectacular play, BU was able to lead, 32–25, at half.
The second half was a different story. Harvard came out firing and got out to a lead to start the half. It seemed this would be Harvard’s half.
“In the second half we couldn’t stop them as much,” said BU coach Joe Jones. “Defensively we just weren’t as good and that really hurt us. In the first half I thought we controlled the game, but in the second half I think they were in control.”
BU climbed back, tied the game and went on a run of its own. But minutes later, Harvard, feeding off energy from the home crowd, was able to tie the game and keep the contest close until the very end.
“The game started to be controlled by their tempo because we didn’t get stops,” Jones said.
In the last minutes, Irving drained a two-point field goal to put the Terriers up, 64–63, but there was time left on the clock. Harvard scored with five seconds left thanks to guard Siyani Chambers. Irving, determined to not let the streak die, hustled down the court, had a good look, but the ball did not fall for the Terriers and Harvard pulled out the win, 65–64, leaving BU at 3–6 on the season.
“We come up with three stops late this year we are having a good year,” Jones said after the game, referring to the season opener against Northeastern and the game against George Mason (7–3), both of which came down to a last possession in which the Terriers could not get a stop.
If the Terriers could have gotten those stops we would be looking at a Terrier team that is 6–3 and on a four-game winning streak.