Basketball, Sports

Men’s basketball falls in season opener to Northeastern

Senior guard Eric Fanning dropped 29 points in the season-opener. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DFP FILE PHOTO
Senior guard Eric Fanning dropped 29 points in the season-opener. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DFP FILE PHOTO

The Boston University men’s basketball team dropped its season opener against crosstown rival Northeastern University by a score of 87-77 on Friday night at Matthews Arena.

This marks the second straight season in which the Terriers (0-1) fell to the Huskies (1-0) to begin the season.

For BU, the game was lost from behind the 3-point arc, where it struggled defending the Huskies throughout the game. Northeastern went 7-of-16 from behind the 3-point line in the first half, nearly totaling BU’s point total (21) through the first 20 minutes.

Northeastern carried its 3-point efficiency into the second half, finishing the game 10-for-21 from behind the arc.

“Offensively they got whatever they wanted,” said BU head coach Joe Jones. “They are an underrated team because of all the guys they lost, but the other guys they have are very good players.”

The problems that BU experienced with the 3-point line carried into offensive play as rushed shots and sloppy passes contributed to its offensive woes.

The Terriers struggled mightily to their shots to fall in the first half, shooting 1-of-13 from deep, while also committing eight turnovers.

BU’s offense came to life in the first half, though, as it finished the game shooting 8-of-30 from the 3-point line, while committing five second-half turnovers.

Jones noted how their struggles from the 3-point line affected their offensive efficiency as a whole.

“We weren’t able to get in the paint enough,” Jones said. “We would drive the ball, get it around the perimeter; we took tough shots. What we need to do is get stops.”

Early in the second half, sophomore guard Kyle Foreman’s foul troubles gave way to freshman guard Destin Barnes in his first collegiate action. Barnes provided a spark off the bench that led the Terriers on a run that would cut the Husky lead to single digits midway through the second half. Barnes totaled 11 points, three rebounds and one assist on the night.

In addition to Barnes, freshman forward Tyler Scanlon also made an impact in his Terrier debut. The Chantilly, Virginia native recorded his first points in the second half, and totalled two points and two assists in 18 minutes.

For Jones, not having everybody healthy for practice led to multiple players getting rotational minutes, paving the way for freshmen like Scanlon and Barnes.

“This is the first time we have had [everybody] playing in a game together,” Jones said. “We are going to have a very good team. We will learn how to execute better, there is no doubt.”

BU also received contributions in the second half from junior guard Cheddi Mosely. After starting and scoring zero points in the first half, Mosely helped lead the charge that got the Terriers back in the game, amassing 12 points, four steals, and three rebounds.

One of the few bright spots came from senior guard Eric Fanning. Fanning came into the season on the Preseason All-Patriot League team and his play justified that on Friday night.

The Trenton, New Jersey native totaled 29 points, four assists, and seven rebounds.

Another standout in the loss was senior forward Justin Alston who came within two rebounds of his second career double-double. Alston, who only played in eight games last year due to an injury, tallied 12 points and eight boards.

Citing injuries as a lack of team continuity, Jones knows the team must improve if it hopes to live up to its preseason ranking as one of the top two teams in the conference.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Jones said. “We struggled to guard people; the zone didn’t work. We just never gave ourselves a chance to make a run at them.”

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