The Boston University men’s basketball team took the short trip over to Lavietes Pavilion in Allston to take on Harvard University Tuesday, and fell to the Crimson 65–64.
The Terriers (3–6) entered the game looking to pick up their fourth victory in a row and continue their hot streak as the first half of the season nears its end. Meanwhile, the Crimson (5–4) were trying to rebound following a tough 57–49 loss against the University of Connecticut.
The Crimson scored after winning the tip with a tough shot from senior guard Christian Webster. The Terriers followed with a score of their own as junior forward Dom Morris backed his way into the paint to tie up the game.
With a little less than 13 minutes remaining in the first half, both teams were knotted up at eight, due to a high amount of turnovers and simple mistakes.
From then, the teams went into a stalemate, missing shot after shot on top of fouls and traveling violations, which ultimately led to a three-minute scoring drought.
Harvard guard Syani Chambers gave Harvard a 10–8 lead, which BU followed again with a score by none other than Morris. The two continued exchanging scores. Leading the offensive charge for BU was junior guard and co-captain D.J. Irving, who made an early 3–pointer and then took it upon himself to keep BU knotted with Harvard.
For the most part, the first half for these two teams consisted of defense, turnovers and missed shots.
BU’s defense was all over the place.
It kept Harvard to a 33 percent field goal percentage in the first half, but could not play clean defense as it finished the half with nine fouls.
Meanwhile, each team committed seven turnovers by the end of the first half, but BU led the Crimson by a score of 32–25.
Harvard opened up the second half by playing deep into the shot clock and waiting until the best shot arose. That shot came when Chambers pulled up from deep to bring Harvard within four. BU responded with a layup from Travis Robinson.
At the 3:42 mark of the second half, BU seemed as if it was going to start extending its lead, as it continuously forced Harvard to miss shots on the other end and it was failing to extend the lead by capitalizing on the other end.
Once again, Chambers came up big for the Crimson as he pulled up for three in front of Maurice Watson Jr., converted on a four-point play and brought the quiet Crimson crowd to its feet.
Harvard made quick use of the bit of energy from the crowd and took the lead with 14 minutes remaining, capping off an 18–9 run with a 3-pointer from Webster.
“We knew they were gonna go on a run,” said BU coach Joe Jones. “They’re a good team. They’ve got good players … I was proud of the way we were resilient, able to hold them off and put ourselves in a position to win.”
From that point on, the two went back and forth exchanging baskets, as well as the lead. Each team had big plays, such as Irving’s four-point play to give BU a 52–50 lead 11:20 into the second half.
“He played terrific. I was very proud of the guy’s effort,” Jones said.
Things remained close until the final buzzer, as BU trailed by one with five seconds remaining and no timeouts. Irving, who had been BU’s go-to guy all game, took the ball down court, found some space and attempted one last shot, which did not go in.
Irving finished the contest as the Terriers’ top scorer, adding 24 points and two rebounds.
Morris posted his second-career double-double, recording 15 points and 12 rebounds in the effort. The 6-foot-7 forward also blocked two shots and earned a steal.
The tough loss for the Terriers was their fourth loss by three points or fewer on the season.
“I thought it was a great college game. Both teams played hard, just a great college game and we came up short,” Jones said. “We’ve lost three games now at the buzzer, it’s been unfortunate.”