The Boston University men’s basketball team extended its winning streak to four games this weekend when it defeated Loyola University–Maryland, 87-72.
Both freshman guard Cedric Hankerson and sophomore guard John Papale each posted 20 points, both career-highs, to lead the Terriers (19-8, 12-2 Patriot League). Hankerson drained five 3-pointers and went 5-of-6 from the field and the free-throw line. Papale was a perfect 7-for-7 from the field and 6-of-6 from downtown. Sophomore guard Maurice Watson Jr., who ranks seventh in the NCAA in assists per game with 6.7, also contributed 12 points and eight assists.
Senior forward Dom Morris got things started for BU when he opened the game by downing a jump shot. In the ensuing Greyhound (10-15, 5-9 Patriot League) possession, Morris grabbed a rebound off forward Franz Rassman’s missed 3-point attempt. Watson then converted a jumper of his own to help the Terriers jump out to a 4-0 lead.
From there, BU never looked back. The closest that the Greyhounds would then come within the lead came with 12:43 remaining in the first half, when forward Jordan Latham knocked down two consecutive shots to cut the Terrier lead to 13-11.
The Terriers then went on a 22-5 run to stretch their lead to 35-16 with 6:38 left in the half. Hankerson contributed 12 points, including three 3-pointers during this span to help BU pull away from Loyola.
The Terriers went into the break riding a 42-28 lead, thanks to Hankerson’s 19 points in only nine minutes of play. Latham had 16 points through the first 20 minutes of action to lead the Greyhounds. As both teams shot around 45 percent from the field, the difference maker in the half was points coming off of turnovers. The Terriers outscored the Loyola 16-0 in that regard.
To open the second half, both teams traded baskets for the opening minutes. The Terriers’ history of letting up large second half leads looked to be repeating itself when sophomore Jarred Jones made two free throws to bring the Greyhounds to within five points of the lead with just under six minutes remaining in the contest.
Sophomore forward Nathan Dieudonne committed the foul on Jones, his fourth of the evening. With Dieudonne in foul trouble, BU coach Joe Jones sent junior forward Malik Thomas in to play solid minutes for the Terriers to finish out the contest.
Papale then took the game into his own hands, hitting four-consecutive 3-pointers, swelling the Terriers’ lead to the score to 75-59 with 3:38 left, ensuring the victory for the Terriers.
Senior guard D.J. Irving made six shots from the free-throw line in the game’s closing minutes. When all was said and done, the Terriers came out of Reitz Arena with an 87-82 victory and sole possession of first place in the Patriot League.
Thanks to Hankerson’s and Papale’s career days from the beyond the arc, BU is now second in the Patriot League in 3-point field goals made, averaging 8.4 per game.
Hankerson, Papale, Watson and Irving each posted double figures for the Terriers. Morris also added eight points and three rebounds. On the night, the team shot 46.3 percent from the field and 60.9 percent from deep.
With the victory and American University’s loss to Lafayette College Saturday night, the Terriers’ now hold a one-game edge over the Eagles (15-10, 11-3 Patriot League) heading into their Wednesday night tilt at Agganis Arena.